Guest blog by Emma Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Carers Together.
Who are Carers Together?
Carers Together is a charity who supports all unpaid carers regardless of the amount or type of care being provided. A carer is anyone who provides care and support for another person, this could be a parent, relative, a child or a friend who has a disability, an age-related problem, mental or physical illness or substance misuse problems. There are over 32,000 people locally in similar situations. A person can become a carer overnight which can be a daunting experience, particularly if they don’t have access to information and support. Here at Carers Together we put carers first and we aim to improve carers’ quality of life. Our team can provide flexible support to ensure your needs are met.
We have adapted our services during the pandemic.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of carers have had to provide more care for loved ones with increasing needs, often without the usual help from family and friends. We have adapted our services to ensure carers receive the support they require during these unprecedented times.
Unpaid carers have been included in the Covid-19 vaccination priority list and are in group 6 alongside people with underlying conditions. For many carers, this will come as a sense of relief. Carers we have spoken to have shared how worried they have been about becoming ill with Covid-19 and not being able to provide care. One way of being identified as an unpaid carer is to be registered as such with your GP practice. If you are not already registered with your GP as a carer or are unsure about this, please give us a call and we can work with you and your surgery to try and put this in place for you.
We have recently been contacted by a 50-year-old woman after she had seen our social media post about how we are supporting GP practices with the vaccine roll out to unpaid carers. Initially, she did not consider herself to be a carer so she was reluctant to call us however after much deliberation she contacted us for more information.
She supports her friend due to numerous health conditions including Arthritis and partial sight. After a good chat with our team, she was able to recognise that she was a carer and that she would benefit from our support so she registered with us. She has now been allocated to one of our caseworkers for a Carers Assessment to identify what will help her in her caring role and ongoing support to put things in place. The carer has also agreed to have her details shared with her GP practice so we can ensure she is registered with them as a carer, she will then be contacted when the vaccine is ready to be administered to unpaid carers.
This is one example where individuals have contacted us for a bit of extra information about something specific (in this case the Covid vaccine GP registration service) and have then been able to access much more support (in this case, a Carers Assessment).
We know it is not always easy for people to make that initial contact and we aim to make this as easy for them as possible by having an empathetic friendly team at hand with a passion for making the lives of local carers easier.
What do local carers who have accessed Carers Together say about us?
“Staff are fantastic, they help with any concerns you have and either give excellent advice or point you in the right direction. My mother was diagnosed with two forms of Dementia and I didn’t know how I would cope as a sole carer and not a clue what to do, their help was invaluable, and it helped me having people who knew what I was going through, nothing was too much trouble”.
“Don’t suffer in silence, or let things get you to the point of a breakdown, thinking you have nowhere to turn. Carers Together are genuinely committed to helping, just give them a call like I did”.
“It was good to talk to Carers Together and air my difficulties I was experiencing as a full-time carer. As a result, I was able to obtain help with domestic chores which was greatly appreciated because of the increasing problems due to my rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and limbs”.
Whether you want help to ensure you are registered with your GP, need advice and information, or simply want a friendly chat with one of our team get in touch.
Contact us by telephone or email, or if you prefer, fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you.
Telephone: 01642 488977