Are you a carer?
A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help and cannot cope without their support. This could be due to an illness, frailty, mental health problem, disability, or addiction. Anyone can be a carer, including children and adults.
Carers provide a vital role in our community. However, they often face challenges in balancing their responsibilities between caring and their commitments to working, studying, and their own personal lives. Some carers may not identify themselves as a carer because they are unable to separate their relationships and their role in providing care and support.
By letting local services know you are a carer, the right support can be put in place to help you manage with your care responsibilities. Carers support can range from help with everyday tasks such as helping with shopping, cleaning, and personal care, to emotional support.
Young carers are people under the age of 18 who help to support someone they know who cannot manage on their own.
If you are a young carer, you likely look after a family member. You may do more jobs around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, and helping your relative to get dressed. You may also give a lot of physical help and emotional support.
Young carers may not be identified by local healthcare providers; young people may not want to disclose this information out of worry for the person they are caring for, or they may not think they are a carer. However, it is important for us to know that a young person is a carer. By knowing this, we can provide the support needed for young carers to have the best chance at succeeding in life.
If someone in your family needs to be looked after, you may want to help them. However, as a young person, you shouldn’t be expected to do the same things as an adult carer, as this can interfere with your school work and social life. It’s important for you to decide how much care you are able to give, or if you are the right person to provide the care they need.
All disabled adults are entitled to support from their local council depending on their needs. As a young person, you shouldn’t have to be a full-time carer; support is available for the people you care for, and for yourself.
For more information about being a young carer, and what support is available in our community, please visit Carers Northumberland.
Social Prescribing Link Workers
At Valens, we have a team of Social Prescribing Link Workers, and Health and Wellbeing Coaches.
A social prescribing link worker can:
- Support patients and carers with navigating the social care system
- Supporting patients and carers with one or more long term condition
- Support patients and carers who may feel lonely or socially isolated
- Support patients and carers who require help with benefits, financial difficulties or housing problems- i.e. carers allowance
A health and wellbeing coach can:
- Support patients and carers who need coaching and motivation to set health goals and develop a knowledge and understanding of their health conditions
- Support patients and carers with lifestyle changes through expertise in behaviour change, confidence and self-management
- Support patients and carers who need help with integrating into the community
- Support patients and carers who need time to build trust and accept support
To make an appointment with our Social Prescribing Link Workers, please call the surgery on Option 1, or put in an online request asking to see the Social Prescribing Link Workers, with a brief explanation of what you’d like to talk about.
Useful contact information
Carers Northumberland – 01670 320025
This advice line offers a single point of contact for carers. Carer Information and Advice Workers provide information on local services, benefits and grants, financial matters and carers’ rights. You can still call the advice line if you don’t have a specific caring inquiry, but would just like someone to talk to about what’s going on and how you are feeling.
If you register with Carers Northumberland, you will receive a carers card that will prove your status as a carer. This can make it easier when talking to healthcare providers. You can also arrange an emergency card that will help the person you care for if you are unable to care for them for any reason.
There are a number of online and face-to-face workshops for carers across Northumberland. Workshops include; making guilt managable, caring resources, understanding stress, first aid awareness for carers, caring day to day, and more. There is also a Welcome meeting online, which offers a chance to introduce yourself to the team, let you know more about their services and how to access them, and ask any questions you may have.
Carers Northumberland can support carers in making an Emergency Care Plan to document important information about the person they care for. By planning in advance for emergencies you can have peace of mind that the person you care for is looked after, that they can quickly get the care they need if they fall ill, and that all of their important information is in one easily accessible document.
Carers can also access a support fund – this is a small grant to enable carers to take short breaks from their caring responsibilities. Details about this service can be found here.
Northumberland County Council – 01670 536400
Support and advice for carers, including benefits, carers assessments, home equipment, etc.
Mind – 0300 123 3393
Mental health support for carers.
National Autistic Society – 0207 833 2299
Support and advice for carers of people with autism.
Macmillan Cancer Support – 0808 808 0000
Support and advice for carers of someone with cancer.
Alzheimer’s Society – 0333 150 3456
Support and advice for carers of people with dementia.
The Children’s Society – website only
Support and advice for young carers.
ESCAPE Family Support – 07702 833944
Support and advice for carers of people with substance or alcohol abuse.
Age UK – 0800 055 6112
Support and advice for carers of an older person.
Citizens Advice – 0800 144 8848
Support and advice for carers, especially financial and social matters.
Mencap – 0808 808 1111
Support and advice for carers of a person with a learning disability.