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Caring for someone

Help and advice for carers including how to apply for a carers’ assessment, personal assistants and benefits. Information for young carers too.

Coronavirus update:

Helping carers to continue caring and have a life of their own

A carer is someone who helps another person in their day to day life. This is usually a relative or friend. It is not the same as someone who provides care professionally or through a voluntary organisation.

There are 6.5 million carers in the UK. This is one in 10 of the population. In North Lincolnshire there are over 19,000 carers which equates to 11 per cent of the population.

The Family Carer Team works within North Lincolnshire Adult Services. The team’s primary focus is on the needs of the carer, keeping them well and enabling them to live their life while undertaking a caring role. The team will be able to support carers with the following:

  • Carer’s Needs Assessment
  • Carer’s Reviews
  • Carer Break Funding
  • Information and advice
  • Signposting and referral to other services
  • Listening ear
  • Emergency planning.

To find out more please call 01724 298393.

What is a carer’s assessment?

Caring for someone who is ill, elderly, frail or disabled can present many challenges and this may have an impact on your own wellbeing. The carer’s assessment is your chance to let Adult Services know what type of extra support you may need to help you in your caring role.

The assessment is not a test of how you perform as a carer and is not something you need to worry about. It’s simply the start of a conversation to help you find out more about the support available to help you in your caring role.

Who is entitled to a carer’s needs assessment?

If you care for an adult who is elderly, frail, disabled or ill, you are entitled to an assessment to identify any support services that you need. This assessment is available regardless of the hours and type of support you give and is not means tested.

The person you care for does not need to have completed a care needs assessment for you to be eligible for support in your own right. You can take the assessment even if the person you care for has been turned down for care and support.

What do I need to do?

The easiest way to get started is to complete the online carer’s assessment form. This gives North Lincolnshire Council’s Family Carer Team some background information about you. Using the online form means you can take as long as you like completing it. It gives the time you need to really think about how caring for someone affects your wellbeing, or quality of life.

If you would prefer to speak to someone, you can contact the Family Carer Team on 01724 297000 and they will arrange for someone to visit you.

What will I be asked in the assessment?

The assessment asks questions about how your caring responsibilities affect your wellbeing in different areas of your life.

When preparing for a Carer’s Needs Assessment it is important to consider the following:

  • the effect of caring on your emotional wellbeing
  • whether your health is affected in any way by caring
  • whether you are able to get out and about
  • whether caring allows you any time for yourself
  • any effect of caring on your other relationships or responsibilities
  • whether you want or need information about benefits
  • whether you are worried you may have to give up work or education
  • whether the person you care for is getting enough help and the right kind of help
  • what your goals and aspirations are outside of caring
  • any cultural, spiritual, lifestyle or other needs you may have.

What happens next?

After completing the online form, the Family Carer Team will get in touch. They may ask you for further information, or to clarify your answers. This could be done over the telephone or face to face.

From the answers you give, they will determine whether you are eligible for help with your caring responsibilities.

If you are eligible for help, the council will work with you to make a plan of how your needs can be met. This may involve getting help with day to day tasks, arranging a break from caring or helping you access technology so you can stay better in touch with your friends and family. The actual nature of the support will be personal to you and the needs you have.

If you are not eligible for help from the council at this time, the team will give you a reason for this and introduce you to other organisations and services that may be able to help.

If your caring responsibilities change at any time, you are able to repeat the assessment process.

What is respite care?

Respite care is a temporary arrangement to allow the main carer of someone to have time off for whatever reason. If you’re looking after someone, occasional breaks are absolutely essential to your wellbeing and health. Carers often use respite care to take a holiday or a break, or if they are ill and need time off. Respite care can include: 

  • residential or nursing care, where the person you are caring for goes for a short stay in a residential or nursing home 
  • day-sitting services, where someone comes to your home to care for the person you look after during the day 
  • night-sitting services, where someone comes to your home to care for the person you look after during the night, allowing you a good, restful sleep 
  • daycare, where the person you’re looking after goes to a day centre, or takes part in activities away from home 
  • holidays by yourself, or with the person you care for.

 How can I access respite care?

You will need to complete a carer’s needs assessment in order to help us to consider what type of help you need, and decide which care services we can provide to help you with. 

There are two types of care home; residential care can provide short-term or long-term care, and includes accommodation, meals, and personal care. Nursing homes have registered, trained nurses on-site, who can provide help with more complex health needs. 

You can also call the Family Carer Team on 01724 297000or email them at familycarerteam@northlincs.gov.uk for further information. Alternatively, if you want to find local services for carers, or if you have queries about your finances, benefits, working situation, or require practical advice, you can call the NHS helpline on 0808 802 02 02, or visit www.nhs.uk/carersdirect. 

A list of all registered care homes can also be found on the Care Quality Commission website. Further help on choosing the right home can also be found on the NHS website. 

What is a personal assistant?

A Personal Assistant is someone who is employed directly by a person who needs support to enable them to live their life as fully and independently as possible.

A Personal Assistant may provide support with many aspects of their employer’s life, for example providing personal care, and also assist the person to meet their friends, go to work and participate in community activities.

Employing a personal assistant

An online interactive version of the Employing Personal Assistants toolkit is available.

This will enable you to immediately access sections of the toolkit and the information you are most interested in. There are also links to organisations you can access for more support and information and booklets are available to download.

Young carers – who are they and what do they do?

A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who assists in the care or support of someone in their family or a friend who has:

  • a disability
  •  illness or long term health condition
  • a mental health condition
  • misuses drugs or alcohol.

The term “young carer” does not apply to the everyday and occasional help around the home that may often be expected of or given by children in families.

What might a young carer do?

  • practical tasks such as cooking, housework and shopping
  • physical care such as helping someone out of bed
  • emotional support
  • personal care such as helping someone to dress
  • managing the family budget
  • helping to give medications
  • looking after brothers and sisters.

Young carers can learn lots of useful skills and be well adapted to their circumstances. However, it is also important to recognise some of the challenges young carers may face, including the impact on their emotional or physical wellbeing, education and social opportunities.

There are an estimated 700,000 young carers across the UK. Here in North Lincolnshire we strive to ensure that young carers within our area are identified at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the right type of support is offered at the right time.

What does the Wellbeing and Young Carers Team provide?

  • When a child is providing care, or is intending to provide care, they are entitled to an assessment of their needs as a young carer. The team uses a whole family approach to consider the needs of other family members including the cared for person.
  • Information, advice and support in relation to reducing higher levels of caring, exploring ways to reduce the impact of caring and, if required, supporting the young carer in their understanding of the cared for person’s condition.
  • Help for young carers to access adult services carer support on turning 18.
  • Opportunities to have a break from caring responsibilities, including access to life skill courses such as first aid.
  • Information and advice to other services and schools to ensure that our partners are assisting in the early identification and support of young carers.
  • Information and advice in relation to other support and services available in the area.
  • Young carers and their families have a right to be well informed about services available to them should they wish to access them. This will help to reduce situations in families when there is a change of circumstance that may lead to a crisis and potentially the need for emergency support.

How do I make a referral?

Please contact us by telephone, 01724 297000 to speak to one of our young carer support staff.

Self referrals will be accepted. Services and other professionals referring in may be asked to provide an Early Help Assessment supporting the referral.

Young carers’ video

The animation for the Young Carers video was the creation of 22 young carers aged between seven and 17. They wanted to get their stories and key messages across about what life is like as a young carer.

This project was funded by Children in Need.

We worked with Focus 7 Media and the START Project over a two week period. The young carers that took part worked on story boarding, set building, clay modelling, camera work, voice overs and scripted content, including facts and key messages.

Take a look at their video below:

Carers may have access to the following benefits:

  • Council tax and housing benefit
  • Council tax – the carer’s discount

You may be entitled to a reduction in your council tax bill if you look after someone who:

  • receives the higher or middle rate of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or receives Attendance Allowance
  • cared for by you for a minimum of 35 hours per week*
  • not your spouse or partner
  • over 18
  • lives with you.

*If you receive Carer’s Allowance (previously known as Invalid Care Allowance) you have already proven you care for more than 35 hours per week.

Other benefits:
  • Attendance Allowance – Paid to people who are over 65 and have health problems and care needs.
  • Disability Living Allowance – Paid to people disabled before the age of 65.

Other means-tested benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Pension Credit

A carer’s premium is included in these benefits for people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance. This includes people who would be paid Carer’s Allowance but do not get paid because of the overlapping benefit rule. For more information contact visit the Welfare Rights website.

It is important for carers to consider who would help if they had a crisis situation and were unable to provide support for the person they care for. By completing an emergency plan, the carer can identify a family member, friend or professional that they would like to be contacted if emergency happens.

The carer will be given a Carer’s Emergency Card. It provides carers with reassurance that in such situations the emergency number will be contacted to ensure the person they care for is supported.

The emergency services recognise the card and know that someone is dependent on the person carrying it. The card also has the phone number for the 24-hour control room, so help can be accessed immediately.

For further information contact the Family Carer Team 01724 298393.

The bottle scheme is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge.

The kit comprises of:

  • A plastic bottle
  • An information sheet
  • Two stickers (one for the inside of your front door and one for your fridge door) to inform the emergency services that there is a ‘message in a bottle’ in the house.

The information sheet is completed and sealed in the plastic bottle which is then put in the door of the fridge.

The emergency services will know to look for it. They will locate the bottle and pass it on to a doctor or hospital personnel in an emergency.

If you would like to receive a free message in a bottle contact miabcenorder@lions.org.uk.

Alternatively, please contact 0845 833 9502 for details of your nearest club.

Contact

familycarerteam@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 298393

Family Carers Team
Adult Services
Church Square
Scunthorpe
North Lincolnshire
DN15 6NL