Do you look after someone that couldn’t manage without your support? If the answer is yes, then you are a carer.

You may not consider yourself a carer, as caring is often something we do for family or friends without question and without defining or labelling it as such. If you provide care to someone who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, mental ill health or an addiction, and they couldn’t manage without your support, then you are a carer.

Carers can be anyone of any age and perform any number of different tasks to support the person they are caring for. You may be providing practical support like shopping, meal preparation, personal care (such as washing or dressing) or you may be providing emotional support to support someone’s mental wellbeing. You may or may not live with the person you care for and it may be that you look after more than one person. Caring can look different for us all.

Support available to carers

In Dorset, we want to know who are carers are so we can support them. Caring can be very rewarding, but it also has it challenges. Caring without the right support can affect the carers health and wellbeing and early information and support are key to preventing ‘carer crisis’.

There are two simple steps every carer can make to make sure they have access to the right support:

Both Carer Support Dorset and CRISP provide a variety of services:

  • Issue you with the Carers ID and discount card – as well as identification to recognise your caring role, it gives you access to multiple discounts such as cafes, shops, attractions and with professionals’ services
  • Run training to support you as a carer to carry out your caring role and also support your own health and wellbeing
  • Access to a team of carers advisors to provide you with personalised information, advice and signposting
  • Hold a directory of carer support groups and activities for you to get involved in
  • Support with creating an emergency plan

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014, highlights GP practices as having a key role in maintaining carer health and wellbeing. The Act also covers equality for carers, and ensures carers have access to an assessment of need in their own right. This is often called a Carers Assessment – a personalised holistic assessment to ensure the carer’s needs are identified, supported and recorded. For more information regarding a carers assessment, contact your carers information service (detailed above).

Children and Families Act 2014

This Act clearly sets out legislation for young carers, young adult carers and their families. It states that children’s and adult’s services must work together, alongside other organisations, to proactively identify and support young carers in a timely and age-appropriate way.