Being a carer is often tiring and stressful, which can make it hard to provide the best possible support to your loved one.
You may feel isolated, but practical and financial assistance are available. The exact form they take will depend on your circumstances, the care receiver’s needs, and the specific services available in your local area.
Practical support may include someone taking over your caring responsibilities for a short time so you can take a break and engage in other aspects of your life outside of caring.
Access to this kind of support depends upon a carer’s assessment, which can be arranged through your local council. Even if you are not eligible for practical support, the council may direct you to other organisations and charities that may be able to help you. NHS volunteers can offer some services.
If you are assessed as being eligible for practical support, you may request a carer direct payment instead. Other financial support includes benefits like Carer’s Allowance
Another possibility is the NHS Low Income Scheme, which covers some healthcare charges such as prescription costs, discounts on or grants for household bills such as gas, electricity, council tax and TV licence, assistance with pension contributions, or specific grants from charities.
Free financial advice to help manage your money is also available.
You are legally entitled to time off work if you face a caring-related emergency, and you are allowed to request flexible working hours. The law also protects you from being discriminated against because you are a carer.
Programs like the challenging behaviour training course offered by providers such as Tidal Training can improve your understanding of how to care effectively. For advice from people with similar experiences to you, care support groups exist both online and in person.
What support is available for you specifically will depend on the particulars of your situation. But know that there are a range of government schemes as well as various charitable organisations with the expertise to help make life a little easier.