Someone being dependent on you for their care needs can be emotionally and physically stressful. To be able to supply the best care possible, you should also have a carer support network in place to care for your own needs.
This can extend beyond family and friends as there are lots of organisations and charities in Suffolk who are able to provide you with the support you need in your caring role.
In addition to the support services listed below, check out Age Space’s advice and information on Respite Care in Suffolk.
A Carer's Assessment
As a carer, you are eligible to take a Carer Needs Assessment that, much like the Care Needs Assessment, can offer advice and point you towards local support groups to help you to look after yourself. It can be the first step in finding the support that you need.
Unlike the Care Needs Assessment, there is no online portal through which to apply. You apply for one by contacting Customer First on the Suffolk County Council Website – they ask that you do so through their built in “Webchat” before turning to the phone.
- Telephone: 0800 917 1109
Find Carer Support Groups in Suffolk
A carer support group will often find you the opportunity to enjoy a coffee with a range of people going through the same experiences. Support groups can help you to destress, focus on yourself, and share advice.
Suffolk County Council
Suffolk County Council has a section on their website that is dedicated to the support that Carers can receive. The first bit of advice they offer is to tell your GP that you are a carer, so that this can be registered on your medical record.
This can come with a variety of benefits, including free flu vaccinations, greater flexibility of appointment times, and directing you to local help and support.
Music in Our Bones
Operating across Suffolk, in Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Oulton Broad; Music In Our Bones is a charity offering multiple different singing-based groups.
Their mission is to provide a space in which to escape from the stress and emotional burden that comes with giving care, through the power of singing. No musical experience is needed, it’s just a place to have fun and escape! Have a look through the groups on their website to see what suits you. If none of the locations are convenient, they also have an online session once a month.
We also sat down with Music in Our Bones founder Tracy Sharp and talked all things singing, community and carer support.
Suffolk Family Carers
Suffolk Family Carers often work in harmony with the council to provide services, advice and support groups to all types of carers, including those looking after elderly people.
Suffolk Family Carers are also affiliated to many support groups that meet at least once a month across Suffolk. In these groups, carers can socialise with others who are also looking after people and partake in activities to get a short respite from full time caring. Look below for your closest group and click for the meeting times, locations, and contact details.
Communities Together East Anglia
The aim of Communities Together East Anglia is to help people to benefit from access to support and services, as close as possible to where they live. Going by the phrase, “community is key”, they encourage community integration, reducing loneliness and improving mental health and wellbeing.
They have a specialised service for Carers in Suffolk called “Suffolk Carers Matter” that aims to improve the lives of every unpaid family carer in the county. They offer support for carers with their mental and emotional health, as well as ensuring they are able to access the other support and advice services available to them locally.
You can get in touch or visit the website for more information using the details provided below.