Being a carer

If you provide care or support for someone, eg a parent, child, partner, relative, friend or neighbour, then you are a carer. Carers can be any age and provide support without being paid.

You may be supporting them because they cannot manage alone at home or in the community. This could be because they are elderly and frail, have a physical or mental illness, experience health problems, have a learning disability or they could have drug or alcohol problems.

You may help them in a variety of ways, giving practical help with things like shopping, collecting medication, cooking and cleaning; providing personal care by helping them to get washed and dressed or use the toilet; helping with financial matters; giving emotional support; or helping them to get out and about.

Looking after someone can be a positive experience but it can also be challenging and exhausting, both physically and mentally. You may find yourself with very little time for yourself or to look after your own health and well-being.

If you care or look after someone who is unable to manage on their own, then you are entitled to an assessment, where we may be able to offer you assistance and support (discussed on page 5).

If you are eligible for social care services we can also offer you a Direct Payment which allows you to choose and purchase for yourself services that best meet your needs.

For more information and advice about getting help if you are a carer, looking after someone in Stoke-on-Trent, please visit www.staffordshirecares.info or www.stoke.gov.uk/carers or call the Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 0800 561 0015 (if you are a young carer (under 18 years of age) please call 01782 235422).

Emergency help

The Carers Emergency Scheme is a scheme that provides assistance to a carer (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) in the event that a carer is involved in an accident or emergency.

It is open to carers who have had either a joint community assessment or separate carer’s assessment (see above). It is free to join, and they can register via an application form available from Adult Social Care.

The carer will receive an Emergency Card which shows the contact number and their own personal reference number. The carer must carry the card at all times and in the event of an emergency the carer or person attending will phone the contact number on the card.

The contact centre at the support agency will ask for the reference number and immediately initiate the emergency plan.

The scheme offers reassurance and peace of mind to both the carer and the person cared for.

If you would like to speak to someone about the scheme please call the Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 0800 561 0015.