Who is a Carer?
A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who cannot manage without their help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
Do you support a relative, friend or a loved one to complete everyday tasks?
You might be helping with cooking, cleaning, running errands, making phone calls, arranging appointments or assisting with washing, dressing or medication.
Often people who provide this kind of support do not recognise themselves as being a carer and may need some information or extra help.
If you identify yourself as a carer or someone else as a carer or you want to talk to someone about your caring role then you can get information and support from our Carer Coordinator Sharon McGlynn t: 07435 754386 e: email@example.com
Carers Tea and Chat
Carers Tea and Chat is a service provided on the wards at Russells Hall Hospital. Volunteers and a staff member visit the wards to try to identify people who may be in a caring role and in need of some information and support. We offer a cup of tea and a chat.
How can you identify a Carer as a healthcare professional?
Many people do not recognise that they are carers and so it is important for those that work in health care to be aware.
Anyone can become a carer. Many people realise that they have become carers over a period of time when they find themselves doing more and more for the person. For example, they may start out collecting prescriptions, escorting them to GP or hospital appointments, preparing meals and this may develop into assisting them with washing and dressing, cleaning and feeling unable to leave them alone for fear that they may fall or harm themselves.
They may become carers following the person’s discharge from hospital or diagnosis of an illness or following an accident. This means that receiving appropriate information at this time is vital to them coping with their role.
Many carers are of working age and struggle to provide care for the person around their own work schedule as the peak caring age is 50-59 years, although the number of carers over the age of 65 years is rapidly increasing and many older couples are providing care for each other. The next of kin may be the main carer but not always and so it is important to ask the patient who is their main carer and are they willing and able to take on or continue with this role. If they are not able to, the carer themselves may need support or information in regards to what they can do.
Many carers experience physical and mental ill-health themselves as a direct consequence of stress and the physical demands of caring, so it is important that their role is recognised and understood.
What is the role of the Carer Coordinator?
- To identify relatives and/or friends who provide care or support to patients (within the The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust)
- To assist relatives and/or friends in recognising their caring role and identify appropriate support that is available
- To promote the rights and needs of carers to Trust staff
- To provide information and support to carers and staff to enable carers to access services in regard to health, social care, benefits,
admission and discharge process as well as information and support available to carers in the Dudley area
- To contact identified carers following discharge to establish any further support needs they may have