Essential Ways for Carers to Improve Their Lives

When you need to have extra care, it can make your life difficult. But it's also hard for the person doing the caring, which is often a family member. Many carers are young people, while others are adults who care for their parents or disabled children. If you're a carer or know someone who is one, you're sure to recognise how difficult it can be. Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier. It's important for carers to have time for themselves so that they can look after their own physical and mental health too. Here are just some of the ways carers can improve their lives.

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Access Available Support

If you're not doing it already, it's essential to see what support you're entitled to. A carer's assessment will tell you whether your council can provide you with help. You should contact your council's social services department for an assessment. They might be able to provide someone to help around the house, training in providing care or advice about benefits. You could also get assistance improve your wellbeing, including things like gym memberships. They could also help you with travel and various other practical and emotional needs you have as a carer. You don't need to be a full-time carer for an assessment, so make sure you get one.

Get Carer's Allowance

Money can be tight when you spend your time caring for someone else. You can apply for Carer's Allowance, which is a benefit to support you. There are several conditions you need to meet as a full-time carer to receive it. You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives a disability benefit. You can't earn more than £110 a week after taxes and care costs, and you mustn't be in full-time education. You could also be ineligible if you receive other benefits already.

Carer Support Groups

One of the best things that can help carers is to spend time with people who do what they do. Sometimes being a carer can make you feel very lonely, and you might think no one else understands. Meeting with other carers can show you you're not alone and give you some time to yourself. There are lots of organisations you can turn to if you want to find a support group. For example, Carer's UK or Carer's Trust can provide support at your local carers centre. You can also use online forums to find support.

Accessing Respite Care

Respite care is designed to give regular carers, and the people the care for, a little rest. It gives you some time to look after yourself while a professional carer takes over your responsibilities. Social services may offer you respite care when you have a carer's assessment. However, you can also look for it yourself. Find a live in care agency that provides respite care for you to access. It could be for a day or a week at a time.

It's important for carers to take time for themselves. If you don't feel healthy, it's difficult to care for someone else as best you can.

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