Carer health and wellbeing
Your health and wellbeing
It is important to look after you as well as the person you are caring for.
LiveWell Dorset is a free service for adults who would like support to change their lifestyle. They have information to help you to manage your weight, increase your physical activity and reduce your alcohol intake.
The Royal Voluntary Service run The Virtual Village Hall, a programme of themed online activities designed to enjoy at home. Sessions are led by expert tutors, Royal Voluntary Service activity coordinators, volunteers and some well-known faces, and require very little space or equipment. You’ll find a wide range of sessions to take part in, like creative arts and crafts, music and singing, cooking and baking, dance and exercise, and technology skills. Join in with live sessions or catch up on demand when suits it you.
Mind has useful information if the person you care for has not been diagnosed and you would like to support them to get help.
It can help to understand the diagnosis of the person you care for as it can help you to understand how it affects them. Mind has information about specific mental health problems and how you can give support.
Carers support groups may help if you want to get information and talk to others who have been through similar experiences.
It is important to look after yourself as well as the person you are caring for.
Caring for someone who struggles with mental health
Rethink is the lead organisation working with Carers of people with mental health needs. The service supports individual carers by providing practical and emotional support, information, advice and assistance to them in relation to their role as carers and within context of mental health diagnostic and treatment pathways.
Rethink are based at Juniper Lodge, The Conifers, Poundbury Industrial Estate, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 2PG and are available Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm via mobiles:
Lewis, Service Manager 07483332523
Olivia, Mental Health Recovery Worker 07483939486
Pam, Mental Health Recovery Worker 07866251265
Ren, Mental Health Recovery Worker 07436816039.
Sometimes people you care for behave aggressively, either physically or verbally. This can be very distressing for the person and for their carer, family and friends.
The person you care for may become more dependent or challenging in their own behaviour and you will need support to avoid harm to yourself and continue your caring role. Seek advice from your GP or a health professional.
If you have concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable adult and think that they may be at risk of harm or abuse, you should report this.
If you go into hospital
If you're a carer and will be going into hospital you may not be able to provide your usual care. We may be able to help arrange respite care for the person you care for.
If you later find out your hospital stay has been postponed after telling us about it, contact us.
As a carer it's important to have a back-up plan in place to help the person you care for in an emergency.
Respite care may be able to help you if you need time to attend hospital appointments.
If the person you care for goes into hospital
Let hospital staff know as soon as possible that you are a carer. This is so they can include you when the person you care for is assessed.
When the person you care for is discharged from hospital, the hospital should include you and your needs when assessing them (if they agree to this).
Carers UK has more information about coming out of hospital.
If you get Carer's Allowance and go into hospital, it will stop when you have been in hospital for 12 weeks.
If the person you care for goes into hospital, your Carer's Allowance will stop when their Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment stops (usually after 28 days).
If this happens, you will need to tell the benefits office. You can contact the benefits office online or telephone 0345 608 4321.
Carers UK has information and advice about work, including getting time off in an emergency, flexible working and your rights at work.
Alzheimer's Society has information on hospital stays if the person you care for has dementia.