Who is considered a carer?
A carer regularly looks after, helps or supports someone who wouldn’t be able to manage everyday life without their help. You don’t have to be living with the person that you care for and the help you give doesn’t have to be physical. The care you give is unpaid and you can be any age. You may be caring for a partner, another relative, a friend or neighbour, for example, it may be someone who:
- Has a physical disability, learning disability, or a mental health condition
- Has sight, hearing or communication difficulties
- Suffers with a long-term health condition
- Has a drug or alcohol dependency
Many carers don’t see themselves as carers and it takes them an average of two years to acknowledge their role as carer. The NHS website NHS Social Care and Support Guide is a thorough guide that explains your options as a carer and where you can get support.
Visit NHS Support and Benefits for Carers for specific advice about carer’s assessments, carer’s breaks and respite care, benefits for carers and help for young carers.
The Care Choices website has information on services for carers, as well as a thorough explanation of the carer’s assessment; who is eligible, what the assessment will consider and what the outcomes could be. Visit Care Choices - Services for Carers for further information.
Speaking to your GP about being a carer – click here for a poster about why you should speak to your GP. It is important we know that you are a carer so we can update your records appropriately. Also, your GP may be able to offer you additional support to help you look after yourself. We have ‘Carer’s Packs’ available at the surgery that have lots of useful information and contacts for carers and young carers – please ask reception for one.
Government Guidance for Unpaid Carers
For the most recent government guidance for unpaid carers, please visit: GOV.UK: Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family
Please see the most recently updated carers information tile on the Somerset Community Connect website here: Somerset Community Connect: Support for carers in Somerset
Covid Testing available for unpaid carers in Somerset - Covid testing is now available through a number of Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) sites across the county. These testing sites can be accessed by un-paid carers in Somerset. These tests screen individuals for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The test is very straightforward and you will be supervised by a trained member of staff to complete the swabbing yourself. Staff in the hub will process the specimen whilst you wait in your car - it will take about 30 minutes to get the result.
There is a booking system that has been set up and you can access this through the links below depending on the site you wish to visit:
Community Transport and Vaccinations
Community Transport has increased its capacity to supply transport for Covid vaccinations and medical journeys. They are increased their car volunteers, many of whom are happy to do weekend journeys. They also have dedicated wheelchair buses. Journeys can be booked by contacting Community Transport on: 01935 477399 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Relaxation and Mindful Breathing Age UK are offering a new relaxation and mindful breathing online programme, starting on Monday 25th January. There are three sessions each week, each with a slightly different approach but all focusing on techniques to help you unwind and de-stress, quieten the mind and sleep better. It is a 6 week programme designed to give a short respite from the worries and constant chatter of a busy mind in this unusual time.
All sessions are booked separately through the Age UK website, full details can be found here: Age UK Somerset Coronavirus - Staying Well.
If you haven't attended an Age UK online class before you will need to complete an application form - these can be found on the website.