As we get older it can become more difficult to complete everyday tasks. This can also be the case if a person has a physical disability or mental health problem. Ideally everyone wants to carry on being independent, whilst staying safe at the same time. However sometimes we have to accept that we need someone else to assist us, partly or in full, with certain vital tasks. It may be that you have family and friends who can help, or that you can pay someone you know to provide the support which you need.
The PeopleFirst site has a directory of resources to help maintain independence, and signpost those who need help to the right respurce. It has links to organizations who can help you understand what is available from the council, how to choose a care agency, and how to contract with vetted carers in your area.
Looking after someone can be tiring and stressful. The Carers Network was set up specifically to provide support for adult carers, and is the first place to seek advice and help if you are in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster. They have support groups for people caring for those with learning disability, mental illness, dementia or at the end of life, plus drop-in sessions. In addition they can help with carer assessments and have a good knowledge of carers rights, including financial help.
Telephone: 0208 960 3033
H&F Support Groups: www.carers-network.org.uk
Ashra Asian Carers Project
The Asian Health Agency (ASHA) provides respite care and support for Asian carers who look after older people and young adults with disabilities. Their carers service primarily runs for residents of Ealing.
Directors of Services for Carers
PeopleFirst is an easy-to-use source of information, ideas and services to help maintain independence and well-being. The site has been created by Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils, and is aimed at the older adult population, people living with disabilities of whatever kind, and those who look after others.
It contains a wealth of useful links to information and support for carers:
CarePlace is a directory of community services for members of the public and service providers. It contains thousands of links, and besides being a Directory, provides Information, Guidance and direct access to local care and community services. Although primarily containing data for North West London, it contains links to services across the capital.
Support for Carers
The Carers Network
This is the first place that carers should go to get advice and information about suporces of support. Their site contains guides outlining carers rights, such as requesting flexible working, carers allowance and respite care.
This site has a useful directory of support resources for carers:
Respite allows you to take a break from your role as a carer. This could mean taking a holiday or a short break to visit friends or family, and can benefit not just you, but also the person you are caring for. Support for respite may be included in a Personal Budget plan.
The PeopleFirst site has advice about how to access and prepare for respite care:
Arranging an Assessment to access support
Carers may be entitled to support from the council, irrespective of the needs of the person they are caring for. They will first need to have a carers assessment to clarify their own needs and find out about any help available to them. This can be undertaken either by the Council or by Carers Network.
Apps to help carers coordinate care
‘Jointly’ is an App that provides a shared platform through which carers can coordinate care. It works on multiple devices and combines group messaging with features like to do and medication lists and calendar activities.
Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking.
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself, because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role. But being a carer means you have a right to help and support to make life easier:
Black & Minority Ethnicity Careers
Are a grassroots community organization deeply embedded in the ethnic minority community in West London which aims to empower, improve the well-being and make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities. They run a forum to provide services and activities to support carers and their families to ensure they access the services and information they need.
The Asian Health Agency (ASHA)
This provides respite care and support for Asian carers who look after older people and young adults with disabilities. Their carers service primarily runs for residents of Ealing.
Telephone: 0208 811 1501