Are You a Carer?
A carer is a person who looks after a relative, friend or neighbour who is finding life difficult to manage without help. This may be because of illness, disability or old age. The time spent caring ranges from a few hours per week to 24-hour attention.
What problems does this bring the carer?
Lack of time for living their own lives
- Competing demands of other responsibilities
Some or all of the following may be useful to contact:
- Your GP (for help with those who are being cared for)
- Durham County Carers Support (Tel: 0300 005 1213; Text: 07624 818 403)
- A Social Worker for possible help with things like home help, meals on wheels and respite care
- A Welfare Rights Officer for advice about possible financial help
How can a carer help himself or herself?
In general, increasing the opportunities for self care. This may take the following forms:
- Sharing the caring, which makes time for the carer’s personal enjoyment.
- Writing a “menu” of enjoyable activities which the carer can choose from when the opportunity arises.
- Eating well.
- Suitable physical activity.
- Learning to relax and rest.
- Developing a support network based on friends and family as well as using any of the contacts below.
Useful sources of information
Durham and Chester le Street Carers
Tel: 0191 387 1991
You may find the attached newsletter “Caring Matters”, from Durham County Carers Support, helpful. To access please click on the following link:
Caring Matters (Feb 2018)
Carers National Association
20/25 Glasshouse Yard
Carer’s line Tel: 0345 573369 (10.00 – 5.00 p.m. weekdays)
FAX: 020 7490 8824
Practice Carers Register
As part of the practice’s continued plans to improve our patient services we are working with Durham County Carers Support to identify and support carers.
The practice has developed a Carers’ Register to ensure that we provide the right services at the right time to carers. This should ensure that you don’t have to repeatedly tell everyone about your caring responsibilities and that you have access to appropriate services and support.
Once you have identified that you are a carer and we have included you on our Register, you have the option to receive more information on services and support available from Durham County Carers Support.
Durham County Carers Support is a charitable organisation limited by guarantee. They provide independent confidential advice, information, and support to careers. They also provide a range of social events, excursions, and signposting to other organisations.
If you are a carer and would like to be included on our practice Carers Register, please telephone the surgery on 0191 374688.
If you would like more information on help available to carers, please inform reception staff or contact Durham County Carers Support directly on 0300 005 1213.
This service is independent from Social Services and at no time will any information be passed onto any other organisation without your consent.
There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.
- Caring for a parent
Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home
- Telling people
Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.
- Taking a break
Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.
- Housing and carers
Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?
Carers support groups
Finance and Law
Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.
- Benefits for carers
Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role
- Benefits for the person you care for
Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to
- Death and benefits
How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits
- Managing someone's legal affairs
Advice for when carers find they have to take over the legal affairs of the person they are looking after
- Other benefits
Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring
- Personal and household finance
Advice on keeping a tight rein on household and personal finance for carers
- Social fund
- Tax credits
Information on claiming tax credits and whether you might be eligible