What is a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. The term ‘unpaid or family carer’ is someone of any age who provides support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, child, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. Anyone can become a carer and people from all backgrounds, cultures and walks of life are carers.
Many people do not think of themselves as carers and would not consider seeking support outside of the immediate family. However sometimes, caring can become demanding and stressful and can take a toll on the carer. Staying healthy and happy is just as important for the carer as it is for the person they care for.
Getting advice, information and support
There are a number of national and local organisations that give advice, information and support to carers.
In Islington Carers UK manage the Islington Carers’ Hub, a voluntary sector organsiation that provides a wide range of free support including:
- Information, advice, signposting and support
- Training e.g. first aid, stress management
- Support groups e.g. BME, Older People, Mental Health
- Flexible breaks fund
- Emergency Carers Card
- Parking permits for carers
- Carers network – newsletter, e-bulletin, forum, activities
They can also help carers complete a range of forms including a carer’s assessment to get support from Social Services, personal independence payments (PIP) to help with finances and to help access education or employment opportunities and much more.
Centre 404 provide support for friends and family members looking after someone with Learning Disabilities and MIND run a specialist service for carers who look after someone with a dual diagnosis (mental health and substance misuse). There are many other organisations that offer support for carers, a directory can be found under related links to the right of this page or you can contact Islington Carers Hub for more information.
You can find more information on the different types of support available for carers by searching the carers category in the directory. Please also see the list of organisations under 'Related Services' on the right hand side of this web page.
Young carers are children and adults under 25 that are taking on caring responsibilities. Islington provides support specifically for young carers who often need support balancing their caring role with managing their school or college work, having time to relax and socialise or finding and keeping work. Family Action Islington works with carers under 18 and the Carers Hub supports people aged 18-25.
Carers are entitled to a Carer’s Assessment from adults social services if they are 18 years old or more. If a carer is younger than 18 years old they should go to Family Action Islington for advice and support. The assessment is a chance to talk about how caring affects your life and if you need some support to help you maintain your health and wellbeing in your caring role.
This assessment will help identify gaps in the support you need in your caring role. An outcome of that may be to provide you with advice and information, aids and adaptations, handyperson service, training, universal or community services and other support. Islington Carers Hub will also be able to provide a lot of support for carers around this.
Social services can also offer carers, who are eligible for social services support, to access:
- Respite through the support for the person you care for;
- A carer’s personal budget.
Advocacy is available for carers who find it difficult to understand the process. If you need advocacy support through this process, we will assess your support need and make a referral where appropriate.
There are several benefits to help carers including Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s credits for your pension. If you get housing or council tax benefit you may get extra money for being a carer. If you get a carer’s allowance this may affect other benefits you get or the benefits of the person you care for.
For more information about carers’ assessments please contact Islington Social Services Access Service on 020 7527 2299 or email email@example.com or you can contact Islington Carers Hub on 0800 085 1141 or 020 7561 5517 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org