Caring for an older person can be a rewarding but challenging job. Our local Age UKs offer much-needed practical and emotional support to unpaid carers and provide opportunities for respite from caring duties.
Some of these services may be impacted by the coronavirus. Contact your local Age UK for advice.
Why we support those caring for older people
Being a carer can be tiring and isolating, and there’s greater pressure on carers than ever before. As our population grows older, more and more people are taking on caring roles – many of whom are in later life themselves. According to our recent research, there are now over 2m carers aged 65 and over, 417,000 of whom are aged 80 and over.
To add to the challenges of caring, the gap in availability of social care services means that people are caring for older people with increasingly complex needs.
How we help carers
We provide support to anyone providing informal unpaid care to an older person through a range of local services.
Carer support groups
Support groups delivered by Age UKs are a relaxed and friendly environment for carers to get together. Carers can attend our groups to:
- Meet people who are in a similar situation within a supportive space
- Get information and advice from trained staff and volunteers
- Attend outings and hear from speakers
We also run specific support groups for people caring for a loved one with dementia.
These are designed for carers to be able to take a much-needed break from their responsibilities knowing their loved one is in the care and companionship of a trained member of staff.
We offer two main types of respite service: sitting services; for carers to have a little time for themselves, and respite centres, for carers and the person they care for to take a short break away from home. The length of your stay at a respite centre can range from an individual day to several days or longer.
Usually a referral and assessment of needs is made before a new carer joins our respite care service. There is likely to be a charge to use these services.
Information and advice for carers
Carers are welcome to speak to our experienced advisors for confidential and independent advice. They can arrange an appointment at their nearest Age UK centre or a home visit if they are unable to leave the house.
If you are new to caring, our advisors can help you to schedule an Assessment of Needs and make your application for Carer’s Allowance. They can also arrange practical assistance around the house via our handyperson and home help services.
Alternatively, call our Advice Line to speak to an advisor over the phone.