Who is a Carer?
A carer is anyone, irrespective of age, whose life is someway affected because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person who has a mental problem, a learning difficulty, is elderly and frail or whose health is impaired, including the parents of a child with a disability (parent carers).
They do not get paid.
Many people who support others do not even realise they are carers.
- Carers can be any age
- Carers can be either sex
- Carers can be from all backgrounds, cultures and communities
- Carers can be family members, neighbours or friends
- Some carers may care for more than one person
Please click here to see the St Helens Carers' Centre Newsletter for January 2016.
It is the policy of the Practice to identify and support carers. We try to identify carers by the following means:
- Newly registering patients are asked if they are a carer or if they have a carer.
- The practice website contains information about identifying carers and has a link to the St Helens Carers' Centre who provide free of charge services to local carers. Once you have registered with them you can access the wealth of services they have on offer on offer
- Our Reception staff are asked to be aware of patients who regularly collect prescriptions or messages for other patients of the practice. These patients are asked if they are carers
- Carers may be identified opportunistically during the course of consultations
- There is a Carers’ notice board in the reception waiting area provided and maintained by the St Helens Carers’ Centre who ensure the information contained on the notice board is both up to date and relevant to the needs of carers.
Once a carer is identified:
The Carer or patient who has a carer is identified on our Clinical system database and a note is added to the computer record of the carer and the cared for person (if that person is registered with the practice).
If the Carer requires referral to Social Services the GP/Nurse will arrange this by telephoning Social Services on 01744 456600 (for St Helens patients) or 01942 244991 (for Wigan patients) and giving a verbal referral. This will be passed on to the appropriate team.
Unless we are told otherwise we will refer the carer the St Helens Carers' Centre a registered charity that is governed by carers for carers. A Carers' Centre representative will then contact the carer to explain their free and confidential service and invite the carer to register with them.
If you are please let us know - we may be able to help you
Social Services may be able to help with the following?
- Meals of Wheels
- Respite Care
- Day Care
- Aids & Adaptations for the Disabled
- Home Care
- Home Help
- Social Work Assessments
- Welfare Rights Advice
Telephone your local Social Services Department for further information:
St Helens Social Services Department Customer Support: 01744 456600
Wigan Social Services Department Central Duty Team 01744 828777
Caring and your pension
If you cannot work or do not earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions because you are caring for someone, you may still be credited with National Insurance contributions. If you are a pensioner, you may be able to get Pension Credit. Click here to find out more.
Further Information from NHS Choices
There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.
- Caring for a parent
Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home
- Telling people
Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.
- Taking a break
Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.
- Housing and carers
Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?
Carers support groups
Finance and Law
Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.
- Benefits for carers
Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role
- Benefits for the person you care for
Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to
- Death and benefits
How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits
- Managing someone's legal affairs
Advice for when carers find they have to take over the legal affairs of the person they are looking after
- Other benefits
Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring
- Personal and household finance
Advice on keeping a tight rein on household and personal finance for carers
- Social fund
- Tax credits
Information on claiming tax credits and whether you might be eligible