Practical support for you and your elderly relative can be extremely useful for your well-being. Fortunately, there are so many things out there designed to make life simpler for carers.
Here are some pointers about some simple services you may not have considered that could practically improve your life – and, as an extension, the well-being of the person you care looking after.
Get A Carer’s Card
If you care for someone, you can’t help but worry about what their fate would be if something were to happen to you. Getting a Carer’s Card can help. In the case of an accident people will see the card, know you are a carer, and be able to alert your emergency contacts. They can then step in and provide care temporarily.
These cards are simple to obtain through your local council (East Sussex, Brighton, West Sussex) or from Care for the Carers. You can download this booklet from West Sussex County Council to find out everything you need to know about claiming an Emergency Carers Alert Card across the county.
Carers cards distributed by East Sussex County Council and Care for the Carers also entitle you to discounts at a large number of shops and retailers, as well as attractions and venues. All you have to do to obtain your discount is to show your card at the till. Couldn’t be easier.
Apply For A Carer’s Grant
There are several organisations who offer small grants to people who care for their elderly relatives – or who care for anyone, in fact! These grants can give small amounts (usually up to £300) to carers that will benefit them in their unpaid role.
Things you can apply for funding for include household appliances, educational courses, a gym membership, home repairs, short term replacement care, or even funding a short break from your caring responsibilities.
If you live in West Sussex you can apply for a grant from Carers Support West Sussex’s Carer Health and Wellbeing Fund. Alternatively, East Sussex residents can apply for the Carer’s Personal Budget from the council. On a more national scale, you can apply for similar grants from large charities like Carers Trust.
Go On A Carer’s Course
Not feeling confident in your caring role? Feel you are lacking in vital skills? Then a course might just be what you need to feel more assured when caring for your parent or relative. You can’t be expected to know everything straight away, after all.
Free online courses are simple to access and easy to organise around your job, caring role and other responsibilities. You can brush up your knowledge on a host of aspects of care; like first aid and dementia awareness or more general courses to build your confidence as a carer. You can find out more about where to access them from the Carers Trust.
There are also more localised courses available, for example, from the East Sussex Learning Portal. You can access this on East Sussex County Council’s website. Care for the Carers and Carer’s Support West Sussex also offer training, workshops and events for local carers.