Carers

Here you can find advice for carers and information on the ways that North Somerset CCG, North Somerset Council and other organisations can support you.

What is a carer?

A carer is someone of any age providing unpaid support to family or friends who couldn’t manage without this help due to illness, disability, mental ill-health or a substance misuse problem.

Being identified as a carer is important because it can help you get the extra support you need. There’s no need for you to struggle alone.

A carer might be:

  • an adult caring for a relative with a long-term condition such as dementia
  • a young carer (under 18) who cares for a family member in a role normally expected of an adult
  • or a parent carer of a disabled child

You may be balancing your caring role with work, school or raising a child, and the care you give will vary in its nature and amount. The person you care for may be a family member or a friend, and they may or may not live with you.

You may be eligible to receive a carer’s allowance or a direct payment for support which will help you to manage your role without it affecting your status as a carer.

If you’re employed as a carer, or working for a voluntary organisation unpaid, you’re not entitled to carers’ support.

How to access support

Tell your GP

They’ll record that you’re caring for someone and offer support and advice. Because caring for others can be demanding, remember to discuss your own health and emotional needs.

Find out whether you’re eligible for a carer’s assessment

Carers who provide care on a regular and substantial basis have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs. It’s a chance for you to discuss, identify and access the help you need to balance caring with your own needs. It can include regular breaks, payments and equipment.

Not all carers are eligible for an assessment. You can find out more – and request a carer’s assessment – at North Somerset Council.

Share information with health and social care professionals

If the person you care for is in hospital, tell staff and share information about the person you care for.

If you’re going to hospital with someone with dementia, find more help at the Alzheimer’s Society.

Contact support organisations

Access to information, financial support and breaks from caring will help you to manage the impact of caring on your own life. To find out more, please contact the following organisations:

How we’re improving support for carers

We recognise the value of carers in our community and work in partnership with several organisations, including North Somerset Council, to commission services to support you. Together, we’ve created an action plan that helps us to:

  • make sure that more carers are identified early and can access support
  • ensure young carers are identified early, working closely with schools
  • involve carers in planning care packages and local care provision
  • make certain that eligible carers have access to a high quality assessment
  • ensure that professionals work in partnership with carers
  • support carers to fulfil their educational and employment potential
  • fund and promote personal budgets, including direct payments to enable carers to have breaks
  • support carers to maintain their physical and mental health

To read our latest action plan and carers strategy, go to the North Somerset Council website carers page:

North Somerset Council - Carers

For more information, email julie.kell1@nhs.net