Help for new carers
new booklet to help those who have recently become a carer was
published last week by Carers UK. Timed to coincide with
Carers Week, which is taking place this week from 11-17 June 2007,
New to caring contains advice from experienced carers and covers all
the basics that one needs to know about the financial, practical and
emotional aspects of caring – and the range of help available.
In the North West every year, over 268,000 people become new carers
providing unpaid care to a loved one who is frail, ill or disabled.
1 in 5 is forced to give up work in order to provide the care
needed. Many become isolated and do not know where to turn for help.
Some even lose their homes trying to make ends meet.
New to caring is a straight-forward and friendly booklet designed to
reassure new carers and prepare them for the challenges that may lie
ahead. It is intended as a first step to finding out what help is
available and contains sections on:-
• the emotional impact of being a carer
• managing financial pressures
• looking after one’s own health
• practical help – obtaining equipment, making adaptations to the
home and organising respite breaks
• benefits and entitlements
• employment and support at work
• making time for oneself
• preparing for the future
The booklet carries an entertaining foreword by Hugh Marriott, the
well-known author of ‘The selfish pig’s guide to caring’,
whose wife Cathie has Huntington’s disease. Hugh understands only
too well the emotions, the battles and the rewards of caring and the
time it takes to even recognise oneself as a carer. The
booklet concludes with handy contact details of other sources of
information and help.
Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, says:- “Recent
research by Carers UK shows that caring hits very hard in the first
year. Over a lifetime, seven out of 10 women and nearly six out of
10 men will become carers yet it remains one of those things people
don’t talk about. New carers, understandably, struggle to cope with
the changes at home and at work, which can have serious knock-on
effects on income, independence and quality of life. An incredible
£740 million of benefits for carers goes unclaimed partly because of
a lack of clear information. We are grateful to those carers
of many years’ experience who contributed so much to this booklet
helping new carers find their way.”
To order or download a copy, please visit
www.carersuk.org or telephone
0845 241 0963.
star success for Southport care home.....
home Thomas Henshaw Court has been awarded 5 Stars by the Assured
Care Quality Assurance scheme for the 3rd year running.
Assessors describe the home as ‘exceptional’. Not only has
the home secured its 5 Star rating for the 3rd year in a row, the
highest level there is within the scheme, it has in fact increased
its score, placing it at the top of the 50 care homes assessed by
the scheme in the Sefton area.
Thomas Henshaw Court on Norwood Road was awarded its 5 Star
certificate last week. The home scored particularly high for
respecting the privacy and dignity of residents, for its excellent
accommodation and courteous staff.
To be awarded with the Assured Care Quality Assurance Scheme Anchor
Homes’ Thomas Henshaw Court had to submit resident and staff
questionnaires and carry out twice-yearly internal Quality Assurance
Audits. The assessor then awarded the home with the score based on
feedback from staff and residents and a visit to the home.
Deputy Home Manager Anna Bradley said:- “We were thrilled to
have been awarded Five Stars once again and even happier to have
improved our overall score from last year. This rating is
particularly important to us because it’s based on the views of
Assured Care Principal Frank Watts said:- “The home is quite
exceptional. It has the highest average score of the 50 homes that I
visit. It’s a lovely home. Everything about it is right. The
building and the staff are all wonderful.”
THOUSANDS RISK missing out on compensation
providing substantial care for their spouse or partner are less
likely to consider themselves as ‘carers’, putting thousands
across the North West at risk of missing out on the extra cash
benefits they are entitled to, according to Age Concern.
warning comes as new research reveals that almost a 3rd of over 50s
in the North West, are unaware that they could be eligible for
benefits if they provide care for a partner or spouse.
is urging all older carers and those caring for an older person to
contact the charity for a free benefits check, as part of its
ongoing Your Rights campaign.
For many carers, the cost of caring can quickly escalate and become
a huge financial headache at an already very stressful time. Yet
thousands of carers nationwide are missing out on their share of the
annual £740 million in unclaimed carers’ benefits because they do
not realise they are entitled to the extra cash or feel the system
is too confusing.
Many pensioners wrongly believe that they
are not entitled to carers’ benefits because they are already in
receipt of the state pension, yet this is often not the case. And
many carers under state pension age are unaware that putting in a
claim could give their finances a double boost, by giving them a
weekly credit towards their state pension as well as topping up
their regular income.
* Around 1 in 8 adults in the UK is a carer
* The most likely age
to be a carer is between 50-59
* Most carers look
after older people, an estimated 70% of those cared for are 65 years
* 38% of carers are
caring for their parents, while 18% are caring for their spouse
* By 2037 the number
of carers could have increased to 9 million due to an ageing
population and changes in community care policy
* Recent Carers UK
research revealed 72% of carers polled were worse off since they
started caring, with 33% in debt
* 53% of those
surveyed said that financial worries are affecting their health
Mr and Mrs F, who claimed carer’s benefits with Age Concern’s help,
said:- “Claiming the benefits we were entitled to has
transformed our lives. Age Concern helped us to claim Carer’s
Allowance, which meant we got increased benefits on top of the other
benefits we receive. Getting a bit extra each week really helps to
relieve the pressure of bills and making ends meet. We would tell
anyone to go to Age Concern to find out what they could claim. ”
The charity is urging older carers across the North West to get in
touch with their local Age Concern for free, clear and confidential
Age Concerns across the country are running Your
Rights events to coincide with Carers Week to encourage older carers
and those caring for older people to find out what they are entitled
Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern, said:- “The
cost of caring can be a big weight to bear for many people, but
claiming carers’ benefits can help to lighten the load. Yet many
carers across the North West are each missing out on cash benefits
of up to £2,500 a year, often because they don’t realise they are
entitled to the extra help or just don’t understand the system.
Age Concern benefits advisors can make it easy for carers to find
out what they are entitled to and to make a claim. We would urge any
older carers, or those caring for an older person, to get in touch
with their local Age Concern for clear, free and confidential help
and advice, or to call our free helpline number on 0800 00 99 66 for
more information. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by
finding out more about what you could claim.”
As part of its Your Rights campaign, Age Concern has pledged to get
an extra £100 million in money benefits into the pockets of older
people by April 2008.