As a carer you may be concerned about how coronavirus will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. Lanarkshire Carers Centre have provided some useful information and guidance to help you understand the current situation and the impact this will have on their services. The Scottish Government has also issued advice for unpaid carers on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Blind Veterans have also issued guidance on helping blind or partially sighted people with shopping during COVID-19 lockdown or self-isolation.
Support for Carers
What is a Carer?
You are a carer if you provide (or intend to provide) care for another person. You can be caring for any number of hours, it does not need to be regular or substantial. The care you provide is unpaid and each person’s role is unique to their circumstances. As a carer you may support more than one person, the person you care for may or may not live in the same house as you.
You may be a parent, a partner, a son or a daughter, a sibling, friend or neighbour to someone who needs support as a result of their illness (physical or mental illness or substance misuse), condition or disability. You might support someone with a long term condition or with a life-limiting or terminal illness, or maybe even someone with fluctuating health needs.
Many people don’t recognise themselves as carers. You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be any age. Age is not a barrier to being an unpaid carer, you may be a child or young person providing care to a family member, friend or neighbour. Carers are male, female, young or old and may come from Black and Minority Ethnic communities or same sex relationships.
If you provide someone with help and support to manage their life, you are a carer.
Why carers need support in South Lanarkshire
Whether carers have cared for the person for a long time, are temporarily helping them perhaps while they get better after an operation or have just recently become a carer, they may need some practical and emotional support. Support comes in many forms and can help carers:
- To ensure they address financial concerns and get welfare advice.
- To get the supports and services they may be eligible for.
- To ensure, if Carers wish, they are able to access an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement.
How we support carers in South Lanarkshire
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives carers specific rights and places a range of duties on the local authority. The Act came into effect on 1 April 2018, it extends and enhances the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing, so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring. Our carers strategy sets out the work we are progressing to support both Adult and Young Carers.
There are estimated to be 780,000 carers in Scotland, (17% of the adult population). It is estimated of those 29,000 are young carers. It is also estimated that 38,023 people are carers within South Lanarkshire.
We, in partnership with many third sector and community organisations have a variety of information, advice, supports and services that carers can access in a range of ways.
The Health and Social Care Partnership can help you to be assessed to ensure your needs are met, we can signpost you to a wide range of organisations that can help you find appropriate supports and services such as day care opportunities for people with learning disabilities and for older people. We can help ensure the home of the person you care for is fit for purpose and you have suitable adaptations and equipment.
Caring can be both rewarding and demanding and we understand that to enable carers to maintain their caring role if they so wish we must support them with information, advice, supports and services. Our approach is to work with our partners, driving the delivery of services that meet the needs of carers at the time they need it. We fund a variety of dedicated carer organisations who through partnership working will deliver a range of services in the community alongside the traditional services offered directly from us in the local authority and the health board through the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Managing Carers Health and Wellbeing
We know carers often neglect their own health and wellbeing and are striving to improve all our carer’s situations through the supports and services we have in place.
We will continue to develop services and work with partner agencies to ensure we improve the health and wellbeing of carers in South Lanarkshire. We want carers to be able to access supports they need when they need them.
One of the National Health and Wellbeing outcomes specifically relates to carers:
People who provide unpaid care are supported to look after their own health and wellbeing, including to reduce any negative impact of their caring role on their own health and wellbeing.
“Carers, accessing the right level of support at the right time in South Lanarkshire"
- What is a Carer?
- Your rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016
- Local authority duties
- Carers Strategy
- Carers Assessments
- Local Eligibility Criteria
- Carers and Hospital Discharge
- Information, advice, support and services
- Adult Carer Support Plan
- Young Carers Statement
- Short Breaks for Carers
- Older carers of adults with a learning disability
- Useful Resources for Carers