So you're a carer - who looks after you?

This Carers Week, from 6-12 June 2022, we are helping highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers and helping those who don't even realise they are carers to access much-needed support.

What is a Carer?

A carer is anyone who looks after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, addiction, or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Many people feel caring is one of the most important things they do, but its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring has an impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health, to finances and work.

Caring without the right support can be tough and it is vital we recognise the contribution carers make and ensure they get the support they need.

Carers need to be visible, valued and supported.

What can I do for myself?

Taking care of your own health and wellbeing is essential, but it can be hard to find the time. You may struggle to eat and sleep well, find the time to exercise and manage your stress levels. 

It’s also common to feel lonely or isolated as a carer, especially as friends and family might not understand how tough it can be. 

If you are not formally identified as a carer, it is really important you visit Hertfordshire County Council’s carers support to register yourself. By telling the Council you are a carer, they can provide the information and advice you need and deserve.

Once you are registered, you will be recognised as a carer by your GP Practice and the Council’s Health and Community Services, which is responsible for adult social care services.

Where else can I get help?

  • Carers in Hertfordshire provides local advice, information and support to unpaid carers with opportunities to get in touch with others, helplines and local support groups. You can call Carers in Herts on: 01992 586969
  • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) has a range of resources available for carers of people using mental health services. Included are new information resources we created with local carers of people who have used psychiatric inpatient services, which aim to better empower and support carers during inpatient admission and discharge. We continue to work with HPFT to make sure the resources are used by frontline clinicians and shared with carers so they can be supported.
  • During Carers Week, HPFT is also holding a Care for Carers webinar on Tuesday 7 June. Register online or phone: 0800 6444 101
  • Nationally, the Carers Trust and Carers UK offer a wide range of information, support and advice including online directories, where you can find out about services near you. You can call Carers Trust on: 0300 772 9600 and call Carers Uk on: 0808 808 7777
  • Rethink Mental Illness has resources on its website that can help if you are worried about your own mental health. You can call Rethink on 0808 801 052

Do you have a relative or loved one living in a care home? Share your story.

If you have a relative or loved one living in a care home, we want to hear about your experiences of visiting their care home during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. By sharing your views, we can help care home providers make visiting safe, as well as meaningful to you and your loved one, as we ‘learn to live safely with Covid-19’.

You can find out more and how to share your views here.

Looking for information about health and care?

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