Caring For Your Future
Did you know:
- 6,000 people become carers every day?
- Between 6-7 million people in the UK are carers for a loved one?
- There are approximately 700,000 young carers in the UK (Jan 2017)
Every year Carers UK hold a Carers Rights Day (30th November) and this year, MyLiferaft wants to celebrate that day to highlight this amazing group of individuals.
Carers Rights Day brings organisations across the UK together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to. It raises awareness of the amazing work that unpaid carers carry out selflessly across the UK every day.
Who can be a Carer?
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and would not be able to cope without their support. Anyone can be a carer – a 12-year-old girl looking after a parent with an addiction problem, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer, or a 75-year-old man looking after his wife who has dementia.
For many people, taking on the role of a carer is a rewarding and positive experience, however there are several aspects of the role where you may need help, support and/or advice:
- Money, benefits and entitlements – there can be a financial cost linked to looking after someone. Many carers have to give up work or reduce their hours putting them under financial pressure. The cost of equipment and aids, washing, heating, lighting and travel can all add to the financial burden. Carers UK have a ‘Help with Benefits’ section on their website that can help you find out what you are entitled to claim for.
- Looking after yourself – caring can be emotionally and physically exhausting which can lead to depression, stress and other mental health issues. Please see our Resources section for a list of organisations that can help you.
- Getting out and about – caring for someone can be very isolating and you may find it difficult to leave the house. Try to find a local carers support group as they understand what you are going through and will often have regular support meetings with other carers.
- Working and learning – young carers can find it difficult to attend school and when they are there, will often be bullied. For those who have paid work outside of caring for a loved one, it may mean that career progression or promotion will need to be put aside.
What am I entitled to?
Carers Allowance is the most common benefit, however not every carer can apply for it so check your eligibility. You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you meet all the following conditions:
- you look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit
- you look after that person for at least 35 hours a week
- you are aged 16 or over
- you are not in full-time education
- you don’t earn over £120 a week (after deductions)
- you satisfy UK presence and residence conditions
The Carers UK website has all the information you need to check if you are eligible.
Please note that there are sometimes different allowances and benefits applied for carers in Scotland.
What Can MyLiferaft Do?
MyLiferaft is a free resource which supports you (and those that you care for) in managing health and care information. Using MyLiferaft can:
- Be a place to store health and care information (and control who sees it)
- Create your hospital passport (information for hospital staff that isn’t all about illness)
- Keep track and be reminded of appointments, assessments
- Share care information with those who support you
- Hear about new technology solutions and how they can help you
We want to help you reduce repetition and free up time to do the things you enjoy. Our Standard service is FREE and you can try it now – just click here.
At MyLiferaft, we aim to give you everything you need in once place and this includes where to go for advice, information and support. Our extensive list of resources has a specific section for carers with links through to organisations such as Carers UK and Carers Trust, however there are also sections covering other topics such as bereavement, Alzheimer’s, dementia, NHS resources, bullying and school holiday activity suggestions for children with a disability.
Click here to see our full list of Resources.
Carers UK operate a members’ only forum that gives carers the ability to share information, support each other and have access to an online community that understands what you do. To find out more, click here.