You may be giving emotional support, or have to keep a close eye on the person you care for. Caring for someone can be demanding, and being identified as a carer can be important to get the support you need to continue in your caring role.
What is a Carer
A carer provides unpaid support to a family member, partner, friend or neighbour, who could not manage at home without help, due to any of the following:
- ill health
- mental ill health
- eating disorder
- substance misuse problems
You may be providing practical and physical help such as:
Young carers take on the practical and emotional caring responsibilities normally expected of an adult, and come from any cultural and social background. There is no typical young carer, but they may be:
- doing lots of extra housework, cooking or shopping
- helping someone to wash or dress
- looking after a brother or sister with physical or learning disabilities
- constantly worrying about and keeping an eye on the person they care for
- helping a parent or family member who has a drug or alcohol dependency
- providing emotional and practical support to someone with mental health illness
- helping a family member to take their medication
Carer Support Wiltshire is an independent registered charity that offers unpaid carers access to:
- free and confidential information
- breaks from their caring role
They also ensure carers have a voice in policy making and planning for services, working with health and social care professionals and employers to develop best practice.
More information at Carer Support Wiltshire.
Carer's allowance is a taxable non means tested, non contributory benefit and is payable to a carer who meets all the following criteria:
- they must care for someone who receives Middle or Higher rate DLA
- they must provide that care for 35 hours or more every week
- they cannot be in full time education
- they must be over the age of 16
- they must have lived in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
- if employed, they must earn less than £100 per week after deductions of Income Tax, National Insurance, Pension contributions etc. After allowing for these, up to 50% of your remaining earnings can be used to meet childcare costs.
The Carers Emergency Card (CEC) scheme is an initiative run by Wiltshire Council and managed by Carer Support Wiltshire. It offers peace of mind and reassurance that things will be taken care of in case of an accident or emergency. The card is available to carers aged 18 or over who are caring for someone who lives in Wiltshire (excluding Swindon).
More information at Carer Support Wiltshire: How to plan for an emergency.