Do you regularly support an adult, or care for someone with daily tasks, a loved one or a friend? You may or may not identify yourself as a carer, but the caring you do entitles you to information, advice and support.
It is really important that when you're caring for someone that you look after yourself too.
This is particularly important at the moment when some people are increasing the amount of unpaid care they provide.
Caring can be very rewarding, but without the right support it can have a negative impact on your health, career, finances and relationships. Support, advice and guidance is available:
Contact Carer Support Dorset
The Carer Support Dorset is the lead carer organisation for Dorset and gives advice and support to all age, unpaid carers across the county. Carer Support Dorset’s aim is to create carer friendly communities where carers are recognised, valued and supported.
Carer Support Dorset is a central point of contact, whether by phone or through the website. They will be able to signpost or refer onto a wide range of existing support available for carers. This could include issuing a carers discount card, access to local carers’ cafes, funding streams and referring to funded services from the local authority through a carers assessment.
Carer Support Dorset explain how they can help you with free advice and information
Contact Carer Support Dorset on telephone 0800 368 8349 Monday to Thursday 9.30am - 4.30pm, Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm or email email@example.com
Register with your GP
Let your GP know that you are a carer and ask if this could be registered on your medical record. All GP practices will have a carer registration form. As a carer you are entitled to a free flu vaccination and your surgery may also offer the following:
- some flexibility with appointment times, for both yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation
- agreement to share information about the condition of the person you care for (with their consent)
- carer-specific support and advice
- carers register
- dedicated carers lead
- repeat prescriptions
- support groups and carers clinics
Contact your GP surgery for more information.
Caring for someone with mental health needs
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.
Why not join the Dorset Mental Health Forum Carers Project? They have a carers project ensuring that the lived experience of carers is incorporated within many of their workstreams. If you would like to get involved and be part of a Carers project to shape and influence local services in Dorset please click here to be taken to their Facebook page.
Carers support groups
Other carers can provide moral support, advice and expertise. Carer support group information is available from Carer Support Dorset and Rethink.
Caring for someone with a long term health condition
If you're looking after someone who has been diagnosed with a long-term health condition or illness, you are likely to face many practical issues. It's important to get information about the condition and how it will affect the person you care for. This will help you to understand any changes they may go through and support them in retaining their independence, confidence and self-esteem.
NHS Choices has information about specific long-term health conditions.
See our page on memory loss and dementia for lots of information and advice.
It can be stressful looking after someone who is frail, especially if you are worried about them having an accident while you are not around. Technology can help by alerting you if something happens and gives you peace of mind.
Equipment and technology
Equipment and technology can provide reassurance for carers and independence for those they look after. From simple aids to sensor systems, there are many products available to help make life easier.
Explore our Equipment House or Technology House for ideas of how they can help you in your home.
Where to find equipment and technology to help
Use our Community Directory to identify suppliers you can buy equipment from directly.
Contact Carer Support Dorset if you would like to talk to someone about equipment and technology to help the person you care for.
We also have a Community Directory of equipment suppliers who you can buy equipment from directly.
Contact us if you would like to talk to someone about equipment and technology to help the person you care for.
How technology can help in the home
|The issue you might be facing as a carer
||How technology can help
|Stress and anxiety, and the constant pressure to be there
||Support is always there, 24 hours a day. For example, sensors will alert a monitoring centre if the gas or taps are left on
|Not being able to take a break
||Allows you freedom to visit friends or go out to the shops
|Your health getting worse
||Telecare and telehealth are preventative, and have been proven to reduce the level of hospital admissions
|Worries about medication
||Medication reminders, for example for people with memory loss
|Not getting enough sleep
||Bed sensors can alert you if you are worried about the person you care for getting out of bed and not returning
|Feeling lonely and isolated
||The response centre is there to support you 24 hours a day. Technology also lets you go out without having to worry about leaving the person you care for behind
Free yearly flu vaccination
Carers of people with serious/chronic health conditions or who are frail may also qualify for an annual flu vaccination. Ask your GP for more information.
When your caring role changes or ends
We know this will be difficult time for a carer who may have lost a loved one or stop caring for someone they have cared for. Support is available, please contact Carer Support Dorset for advice and support.
The Department of Work and Pensions need to know that you are no longer a carer if you have been receiving Carer's Allowance.
If you were getting a Council Tax discount because of your caring responsibilities, remember to let us know that your caring responsibilities have ended. If you're living alone, you may still be entitled to a single occupant's discount (25%) on your bill.
You may be entitled to welfare benefits if you are not in employment or unable to return to work.
Carer Support Dorset offer a range of training and helpful workshops to help you with your caring role. Contact them for the latest information.
The Carers Trust has free online courses about caring for someone with dementia.
The Recovery Education Centre provides free training courses if you are caring for someone with mental health issues. The courses are mainly held out in the community, so you should not have to travel too far to attend.
The Leonardo Trust
The Leonardo Trust is an independent charity to help people in Dorset who care for a sick or disabled relative or friend, full-time, at home. The Trust may be able to help you with:
- funds for a short break
- help in the home including cleaning and gardening
- replacing a broken washing machine or tumble dryer
- funds to help you learn something new
Some charities have helplines and online forums that can give you advice and support.
Read more about help with managing your money including debt management.
Care provider information
Care Choices offer the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset, Adult Care and Support Services Directory which includes:
- Details of local care providers
- Guidance on what support services are available
- Information on how to access social care in your area.