Carers tell us that they often neglect their own health and wellbeing. Within South Lanarkshire, partner agencies and carers are working together to improve carers health and wellbeing. Some of the developments made so far are listed below:
- Reduced price therapies
- New respitality / short breaks service
- Income maximisation
- Carer Support Team at the Lanarkshire Hospitals
- Training for carers
- GP register - ask at your GP practice about this: ensure that your GP knows you are a carer
- Free flu vaccination - you can also ask for this at your GP practice
At the hospital
The Hospital Discharge Pack contains some useful information for carers.
When someone is admitted to hospital, they should be asked if there is a carer who is able to offer support. As a carer (and with the consent of the patient) you should be:
- Told about the treatment and condition of the patient - this should include medication and its possible side effects as well as what care is likely to be needed
- Involved in any home visits prior to the person being discharged from hospital. This may involve discussing what equipment or adaptations may be needed
- Given time to visit any care homes if the person is not able to return to home and this has been discussed as an option. People have the right to choose a care home
- Involved in any multi-disciplinary meetings
- Given information about charges as well as care provision
- Given at least 24 hours notice that the person is being discharged from hospital
- Given information on transport options for the person returning home from hospital
- Reassured that the person's GP is aware they are being discharged and with the appropriate amount of medication until they can see their GP
- Given a phone number to ring if you have any worries or concerns as a carer
- Involved in arranging home care support if this is needed when the person returns home
Looking after someone who has a terminal illness
The Haven provides information and support to people affected by life-limiting illnesses (with a base in Forth, Wishaw and Blantyre). They offer support to carers and young carers.
There are other organisations such as the Maggie's Centre based at Monklands Hospital that support people with cancer and their families.
If you are providing care to someone with a terminal illness, there are 'special rules' that will ensure the person needing support can access certain benefits (Personal Independence Payments) quickly and easily. Government grants can also be applied for to assist with costs.
Your local social work office can provide care services and equipment for people who are terminally ill.
CRUSE Bereavement Care can also offer counselling.
At such a difficult time, it is important that you feel supported in providing care. These are just a few agencies that can offer information, advice and emotional support.