If you’re a Carer who helps and supports someone who can’t manage on their own, we want to ensure YOU get all the support YOU need.
Definition of a carer
A carer is an individual who provides unpaid care and support on a regular basis to a member of their family, a partner, friend or neighbour who is suffering from illness, frailty, disability, mental health or substance misuse issues (this list is not exhaustive).
Carers are not defined by age, as there are many young carers within the community, nor are they defined by the amount of support they provide; this can vary from a few hours per week to full-time care, at home or at another location.
Carers provide a range of support, which includes but is not restricted to:
- Manual handling assistance (bed to chair, etc.)
- Administering medication
- Personal care (such as feeding and washing)
- Emotional support
It is worthwhile to note that carers should not be confused with paid care support workers, volunteers or care assistants, or those individuals who receive payment in kind.
We are trying to identify as many carers as we can, particularly those people who are also managing their own long term condition, whilst also looking after a member of their family or helping a friend or neighbour with day to day tasks. You may not regard yourself as a carer and are undertaking this vital activity without help or support whilst also managing your own health problems.
Although extremely valuable and important, caring for someone can mean being in demand round the clock and lead to a feeling of isolation, which is why we want carers to receive all the support and information we can give, on topics such as benefit entitlement, access to respite care or maybe simply to provide a kindly ear when things get too much.
In some cases caring roles are full time and very demanding. We would like to support you in your caring role where we can:
- Providing home visits and/or telephone appointments if caring responsibilities mean you cannot leave the person you care for at home or bring them with you to the surgery.
- Flexibility or priority on appointment times where possible.
- Support for the person you care for in the waiting room or a private area if you need to bring them to the surgery but would like an appointment in private.
- Information about local carers support services which may be able to arrange transport and/or sitting services to help you leave home to attend surgery.
- Telephone ordering for prescriptions
- An annual flu jab.
- Information about your right to a Carers’ Assessment* of your own needs as a carer.
- Discussing with you what you would like us to do in the event of you or the person you care for having a medical or other emergency.
- Refer you to specific services, such as befriending organisations or a social prescriber, especially if you are feeling socially isolated.
*Take the time to visit https://sefton-carers.org.uk/index.php/carers-service/carers-assessments -This is an opportunity to discuss your role as a carer and what help you may need to:
- Support you as a carer,
- Maintain your own health
- Balance caring with other aspects of your life, like work and family, looking at both your current and future needs.
The assessment covers the impact of your caring role - how you are feeling about caring, your physical, mental and emotional health and how caring may affect your work, leisure, education, wider family and relationships.
As a result of completing the Assessment, the local authority may provide services to help you in your caring role or to maintain your own health and well-being. It can also look at the needs of the person you care for. This could be done separately, or together, depending on the situation.
If you also have a long term condition yourself (such as asthma or diabetes) it is important that you keep up to date with your own health reviews which can take place over the phone with the Practice Nurse or a face to face appointment may be arranged at Christiana Hartley Medical Practice, depending upon what course of action is needed for you. It may be that you are also eligible for vaccinations such as pneumococcal or shingles, and this can be discussed during your review.
It is vitally important to keep up to date with your health checks, and if you wish to speak to the Practice Nurse about your long term condition, then please telephone 01704 531114 to arrange an appointment. Caring should not be at the expense of your own health and wellbeing. Please tell us how your caring role is affecting you and if you have any support needs.
The following links for support may also be of use to you depending upon your circumstances:
If you identify yourself as a carer, please telephone the surgery, so we can add it to your records and book a carers review with the practice nurse.
At Christiana Hartley Medical Practice, we are committed to supporting our patients who are carers.
Please click here for the updated letter for Carers from Christiana Hartley Medical Practice