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There’s a lot to juggle when you’re caring for someone and it can leave you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, which is why it’s really important to look after your own needs. This could mean taking time out to focus on an interest, getting away on a short break, or having some counselling to talk through how you’re feeling. All carers are entitled by law to a Carer’s Assessment too, to see what support might help you in your caring role.

What is a Carer’s Assessment?

What is a Carer’s Assessment?

A Carer’s Assessment is a great opportunity for you to stop and think about how your caring role is impacting on you. During an assessment, we look at how caring for someone might affect you physically, mentally and financially, and we can explore ways to find time for yourself. A Carer’s Assessment involves a conversation based on a set of structured questions that will help us understand your situation and what support you might want.

It’s not an assessment of how you look after someone

This is not an assessment of how you look after someone, it’s an assessment of how your caring role is impacting on you and what might help – practically, emotionally and financially.

Find out about support

A Carer’s Assessment can help you to understand what services are available to support you and the person you are looking after. It can help identify whether you are both getting all the benefits you might be eligible for, as well as other potential sources of financial support.

Financial support might come in the form of a Direct Payment – a sum of money that is paid by Adult Social Services.

It can also help identify if the person you care for is likely to be eligible for any support e.g. whether they should contact adult social care for a Care Needs Assessment to help with activities of daily living. Help can also be provided to apply for a blue badge, freedom pass or taxi card.

Your wellbeing

A Carer’s Assessment considers your wellbeing and can help you find ways of getting a break from your caring role (see below). This might include finding ways to support your health and how you feel. If you’re juggling care and work, it could provide you with a better understanding of your rights in your workplace.

Getting a review

Depending on your situation, you could have a review once a year or whenever your situation changes.

Emergency Carers Card

You might also find an Emergency Carers Card useful. This means that in the event of an emergency, your emergency contacts will be alerted. This is normally organised following on from a Carer’s Assessment.

Getting a Carers Assessment

Islington Carers Hub can provide a carer’s assessment if the person you care for lives in Islington.  Please contact us to register and we can arrange a time that is convenient for you in the weeks to follow.

Contact Islington Carers Hub.

Getting a break

Having a break is good for you as a carer and a great way to recharge your batteries. A break from caring could be anything from a couple of nights away, or it could be taking part in a regular class to pursue an interest or having someone come in to give you time to do things like going shopping or visiting a friend.

Short breaks

There are services that can help you to get a short break away by either applying for the Flexible Breaks Fund or a Carefree break.

Carefree can provide a 1-2 night break in a hotel or holiday cottage for a carer and a companion.

The Flexible Breaks Fund can be used either towards a holiday or for things like a relaxing massage, gym memberships or hobby equipment. You would need to complete a Carer’s Assessment (see above) to apply for a break. Alternatively, you can apply to the Flexible Break Fund to pay for some respite care.

Respite care services

Respite care services can include:

  • Residential or nursing care
    : where the person you are looking after has a short stay in a residential or nursing home
  • Home-based respite service
    : to provide you with a break for a few hours to go shopping, meet up with friends or have time for yourself
  • Night-sitting service
    : where someone will come into your home to allow you to have a proper night’s sleep
  • Day care
    : where the person you are looking after goes to a day centre or takes part in activities away from home allowing you a break from caring

Islington Carers Hub can discuss options for getting a break and help you apply.

Carers events and support groups

As a carer it’s important to take regular time out and spend some time talking to people who understand what you’re going through, or doing something you enjoy.

Islington Carers Hub has regular monthly get-togethers, fun workshops, information-sharing sessions and talks. There’s also the opportunity to contribute to a regular forum to help inform the local council and other partners about what carers need.

Go to the ‘Events & News’ page to see what’s coming up.

Managing stress and difficult feelings

Emotionally, caring for someone can be challenging. Stress and depression can affect anyone, and the responsibilities of caring can make you more vulnerable. Feeling isolated or difficulties sharing caring responsibilities with siblings or others, can add to these feelings.

Taking a regular break from caring might not be easy, but it can be re-energising – as can talking to others who understand. Some carers find yoga classes, meditation or counselling beneficial.

Islington Carers Hub offers counselling for carers in partnership with Islington Mind.  During a counselling session you have the chance to discuss any thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you are experiencing. Your counsellor can help you to explore these feelings, look at possible new choices and changes that you may want to make in your life.

Islington Carers Hub can help you to talk things through via their helpline or a one-to-one appointment and to help you to find the right support for you. If you’d specifically like to request carer’s counselling with Islington Mind, contact Islington Carers Hub.

Showing carers appreciation

Caring can be rewarding, but it can also be relentless and there might be times when you feel completely unappreciated for what you do in supporting a friend or loved one.

Islington Carers Hub celebrates carers and the contribution that they make.  We do this through the core support that we provide and special events, including wellbeing days.  However, we are always interested in hearing about any further benefits in the local area or offers for carers that we can pass on.

Contact us if you would like to share details about a service or offer that could be useful for other carers.

Discounts and offers for carers

Islington Buyers Card

You can join the Islington Buyers Club to receive your shop-local membership card, which offers savings at hundreds of shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes and more across the capital. You’ll also receive discount codes to use when you checkout online with participating businesses. The card is free for carers registered with the Islington Carers Hub. Contact us to request your free card.

Get into Dance

Carers who are registered with Islington Carers Hub who have not previously bought tickets from Sadlers Wells are eligible for their ‘Get into Dance’ scheme.  This means you can buy tickets for performaces at £3 per ticket.  Contact learning@sadlerswells.com to enquire about joining the scheme.

Other discounts and offers

See the Mobilise guide to Discount for Carers for details about a range of organisations and attractions that provide discounts for carers.  Also details of how you can save money on utilities including council tax and energy bills.

For help with getting utility discounts, contact Islington Carers Hub.

Bereavement support

Losing someone close to you can be devastating. If you have been caring for that person, the loss can seem even greater. How you cope with the death of the person you cared for is a very personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to feel following a bereavement.

Some people also feel that they experience grief at some stages in their caring journey, before the end of life.  This can be grieving for the person you once knew.

Immediately after a bereavement there are a lot of practical things to do, like registering the death and arranging the funeral, and family and friends tend to be around a lot more. It may be that only when all the practicalities are dealt with, and the people around you get back to their everyday lives, that you really start to grieve.

Islington Carers Hub can connect you to counselling services and bereavement support.

Contact Islington Carers Hub

For more information or if you have any questions, get in touch with us on 020 7281 3319 or email info@islingtoncarershub.org.

Support services

Islington Carers Hub can advise you on a wide range of things, and as part of our support, we can help you to find specialist help that is right for you and your circumstances.

Getting a break

  • Carefree
    : provides 1-2 night breaks & breakfast for unpaid carers and a companion in hotels and holiday cottages donated by owners and operators during the low season.
  • Shared Lives Carers
    : can provide an individual with accommodation and support in a family home on a regular or periodic basis. This can help provide a valuable transition to living independently or to provide respite for a carer.

Managing stress & difficult feelings

  • Stress Project
    : regular meditation courses, low cost & free therapies and wellbeing activities for people experiencing stress, anxiety or mental health problems.
  • Islington Mind
    : provides counselling, talking therapies and groups. For the carer’s counselling service with Islington Mind, contact Islington Carers Hub.
  • iCope
    : provides support for stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  • Camden and Islington NHS Trust
    : provides a wide range of mental health support, therapies and interventions.

Bereavement

More information

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