Covid’s impact on carers has prompted a fresh promotion of Independent Age’s free guide Caring For Someone.
Struggling helpers are being alerted to the charity’s 56-page book that offers essential advice in such areas as – dementia, assessments, practical support, respite, benefits and life after caring.
The guide addresses this wide range of issues with additional information like true life stories and useful contacts so people can get in touch with other agencies.
One contributor reminds readers, ‘Look after yourself is the golden rule. You can’t care for anyone if you’re ill yourself.
‘I found that during my father’s care, my mum lost herself a bit. We’d make an effort to give her a few hours each week to herself.’
A more detailed case study features Bill, whose wife Amy is in her 80s and ‘pretty frail’. Even though Bill himself is also frail, he has to help her all the time.
‘If I have to go out to do some shopping or for a dentist appointment, I’m so worried because there’s no one at home to look after her,’ Bill shares in the guide.
He phoned Independent Age, who advised the couple to ask for a face-to-face care needs assessment from their local council – and a carer’s assessment for Bill.
‘We discussed our difficulties with the assessors and we now have care workers coming to help five times a week for up to two hours,’ Bill explains in the booklet.
They also have cleaners once a week to clean the floors, toilets and do the vacuuming. ‘Now we’re working out respite care with social services,’ adds Bill.
Independent Age told us the guide is being promoted due to the current situation and its impact on carers. The charity hopes to publish a new version in October this year.
You can download a PDF from their website or phone Independent Age’s helpline number to order print copies of the guide, and also arrange to speak to an adviser if you have a particular concern – 0800 319 6789.
According to Carers UK, unpaid carers have been hit ‘especially hard’ by the pandemic. ‘Many are at the point of break down, having been unable to access the care and support services they need,’ said Chief Executive Helen Walker. ‘Their physical and mental health is in jeopardy and they desperately need a break.’