Carers’ support

If you support a friend or family member who is ill, disabled, frail in old age, or someone with alcohol or drug related problems, then you are a ‘carer’. The care you provide may be emotional, physical or practical help.

Caring for someone can be very rewarding but it can also be incredibly stressful and exhausting at times and take a toll on your own health and wellbeing. You may need help yourself. You can discuss your needs with the care manager as part of the assessment for the person you look after, or during the review of their care plan. We will also invite you to contribute to the discussion of the needs of the person you care for (their assessment), though we will usually need to discuss with that person whether there are some issues they wish to talk about privately.

Alternatively you can ask for a separate assessment of your own needs, this is called a carer’s assessment. This can happen even if the person you care for refuses help.

Some of the ways we can help include arranging for someone else to look after the person you care for so that you can have a break; arranging training and advice for you about how to provide help safely and easily; putting you in contact with other carers who can share their experience with you and with other organisations who may be able to help. Your care manager will endeavour to find solutions to best support you in your caring role.

Northumberland Carers’ Guide is a practical information resource for carers of adults. Northumberland Carer’s Wellbeing Check will help you think about your own health and how your caring role affects your life, consider things that will make caring easier and help you prepare for a carers assessment discussion.

The guide and wellbeing check are available from your care manager, if you have one or Adult Social Care, telephone: 01670 536 400 or email: socialcare@northumbria.nhs.uk. You can also get a copy and a range of carer information and support from Carers Northumberland on the details listed below.