Did you know?
- In Devon there are around 130,000 carers providing unpaid care for relatives and friends, which is a 50% increase since COVID-19.
A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to family, friends or neighbours who could not manage without their help on a regular basis. Anyone can become a carer at any time- It may happen gradually as a person’s health deteriorates or instantly, as a result of an accident or unexpected health condition. Quite often a person does not recognise themselves as a carer, even though they have a caring responsibility. No matter who a person is caring for and whether they have the same condition as somebody else, their situation is unique to them.
Carers often put the health of the person they care for before their own. To be able to care for others, you must care for yourself! You do not need to be claiming or receiving Carer’s Allowance to be considered a “carer”.
Devon Carers is an organisation who support unpaid carers to maintain their own health, wellbeing and independence to care safely, confidently and effectively. The support is free and available to all unpaid carers, irrespective of any input by Health and Social Care agencies. The service is provided by Devon based charity Westbank and has been commissioned jointly by Devon County Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group. They provide a range of services to over 20,000 carers across Devon, excluding Plymouth and Torbay. These include:-
• Website – an excellent information resource – visit www.devoncarers.org.uk
• Carers Passport – all the information you need about you and your role in one place. It includes a Devon Carers ID card, which you can use to access a range of benefits and discounts through the Carer Friendly Devon scheme
• Quarterly magazine – with the latest news, carer stories and training courses
• Helpline and webchat – available Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat 9am-1pm. 03456 434 435
• Emergency Plan – a record containing important and useful information to help others if a carer is unexpectedly unable to carry out their caring role
• Alert Card – to alert others if they become unexpectedly ill or taken to hospital that they are unable to care for their loved ones and to summon help for them
• Training – opportunities to learn skills to assist with their caring role
• Peer Support – connecting carers to mutually support each other
• Hospital services – additional support following an admission to hospital
• Carer assessments – a personalised assessment of how caring affects your health and wellbeing and how we can support you with one-to-one assistance if required.
Devon Carers treat each carer as an individual, taking time to find out what’s important to them, and work out together how they can support them in their caring role. The
challenges carers face in different parts of the county can vary greatly, so having local teams enables them to provide specific advice and support. The teams also liaise closely with health and social care services and have strong links with voluntary and community organisations.
If you think you are an unpaid carer, or know someone who is, please get in touch with Devon Carers - to find out more visit www.devoncarers.org.uk or call 03456 434 435
Click the link to view the Devon Carers Magazine
Devon Young Carers - www.devonyoungcarers.org.uk
NHS Home - www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/support-and-benefits-for-carers
There is a wealth of information on NHS website about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.
- Telling people
Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.
- Taking a break
Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.
- Housing and carers
Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?
Carers support groups Finance and Law
Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.