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Information for carers (if you help a relative or friend)

Although caring for an older person can be rewarding, it can sometimes be tough too. You may not even think of yourself as a carer or be aware of the many sources of emotional, practical and financial support that are available to you. We cover the main things to help lighten the load a little.

Are you a carer?

If you look after your partner, or a relative or friend who is ill or disabled, you are a carer, even if you don’t think of yourself that way. There are many ways that you might care for someone. For instance you might:

  • be on hand 24 hours a day to provide care.
  • arrange hospital appointments for someone.
  • drop round each day to keep someone company or cook their dinner.
  • visit a relative who lives far away once a month to see how they’re doing.
  • move in with someone to help them recuperate after a major operation.

If you care for someone, you can contact the local authority social services department to arrange a carer's assessment.

Carer’s assessments

As well as assessing the needs of the person you care for, your local authority's social services department should also give you a carer’s assessment to see what you need and what might help you with your caring role.

You're entitled to a carer’s assessment if you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for someone. You can also get a carer’s assessment regardless of whether the person you care for is having their needs assessed.

The kind of help and support you could get includes:

  • respite care to give you a break
  • information on local carers support groups
  • help with caring
  • equipment to help you in your caring role.

Further information can be found within our factsheet:

Factsheet 41w: Social care assessments for older people with care needs in Wales

The factsheet also includes information on the assesment process which is relevant for carers.

Being a carer and working

If you’re working as well as caring for someone, it can be a lot to handle at once. It may help to know about your rights at work and think about what could help you with managing your work and your caring role.

If you’re juggling work and caring, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements to help you fulfil your responsibilities.

Flexible working could also help you to find a working pattern that suits your caring role and gives you more time to take care of yourself as well.

Carers Wales should be able to advise you further on this issue.

Financial support for carers

Caring for someone can lead to money worries, especially if your caring role means you have to give up work. There could be financial support available to help you.

Carer's Allowance is the main welfare benefit to help carers – further information can be found in the benefits & entitlements section of our website.

If you care for someone at least 20 hours per week, you could get Carer’s Credit. This helps to maintain your National Insurance record – which goes towards your State Pension. You will get Carer’s Credit automatically if you get Carer’s Allowance, although you don’t have to be receiving Carer’s Allowance to get it. You can find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Also, the person you care for may be eligible for Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, depending on their age.

Carers organisations

There are specialist organisations who can give advice and information if you are a carer. You can visit their websites for further information: 

Carers Wales

Carers Trust

Further information

Our information guide has details on a number of issues affecting carers in one handy booklet:

Information Guide 13: Advice for carers

We also have a specific guides for people who are caring for someone with dementia:

Information Guide 47: Caring for someone with dementia

Information Guide 55: At home with dementia – Tips for making your home dementia friendly

Shortened URL for this page: www.agecymru.org.uk/adviceforcarers 

For more information call Age Cymru Advice on 0300 303 44 98

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