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Your health and wellbeing

It is important to look after yourself as well as the person you are caring for. Carer support groups may help if you want to get information and talk to others who have been through similar experiences

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 runs 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 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 also has information about specific mental health problems and how you can give support.

Carer Support Dorset can get you in touch with local support groups and provide advice to keep your health and wellbeing on track. Freephone 0800 368 8349

Caring Matters is a Dorset-wide magazine for carers. For the online version visit Caring Matters ( or if you would like a hard copy sent to you contact Carer Support Dorset. Freephone 0800 368 8349.

Telephone Friendship Group  Dorset History Centre Telephone Friendship Group is a new way to connect with you, or perhaps a friend or relative. On the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 11 a.m. we get together for a chat, to share stories and news. We can listen to oral history clips together and have shared favourite poems – It's very much up to the callers how they’d like to spend the time. The group is very suitable for anyone who is interested in Dorset’s places and past.

No computer is necessary for this activity - just a landline or mobile phone! If you’d like to join us please leave us a message by calling 01305 250550, and we’ll call you back with details.

Prama Life run Carer's Meetings in East Dorset. For more information on these groups telephone 07736 133 445 or

Prama Life also run the FOCUS Befriending and Mentoring scheme, a free service available for carers in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas.  The Project is an opportunity to talk and focus on you as a carer.  We can match you up with a fully trained volunteer befriender with similar interests to chat with on a regular basis on the phone or face to face telephone 01202 207329 or email:

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're getting services from your council as a carer, you should contact us. If you are not receiving services from your council, Carer Support Dorset will be able to provide advice.

If you later find out your hospital stay has been postponed after telling us about it, contact us.

As a carer, it is important to have a backup 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.

Welfare benefits

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.

ACAS offers employment support and advice on their website and a helpline which is available Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Tel: 0300 123 1100.  After 26 weeks of working with an employer, employees may request flexible working. This may help carers remain at work. ACAS can provide you with more information.