Carers have a very important part to play in looking after people who are ill, frail or have a disability thus enabling them to live at home. People from all walks of life and backgrounds are carers - over 3 in 5 people in the UK will become carers at some time in their lives. Caring can be a rewarding experience, yet many face isolation, poverty, discrimination and ill-health.
Are you a Carer?
If you provide regular and unpaid support for a relative, friend or neighbour of any age who is ill, frail, has a disability or mental health need then you are a carer. The care you provide can involve physical and/or emotional support.
Carers can be found across all age groups and can be an adult, an older person or a child. Caring for someone can be a very rewarding experience, but it can also be demanding, stressful and tiring and your needs may be different from those of the person you care for as will the support you need.
Finding out about you and the help you need
To decide what support we can offer you, we need to find out about you and the impact that being a carer has on your life. This will ensure we offer you the right kind of support to enable you to carry on caring and to do this, a care manager will need to talk to you, either on your own or with the person you care for. We call this meeting an assessment. There are two types of assessment that you could be involved in.
- A Community Care Assessment
- A Carers Assessment
A community care assessment considers the needs of the person you care for. You can contribute to this as part of their assessment and any services provided may benefit you.
A carers assessment will be offered to you if you are providing a substantial amount of support to someone on a regular basis and you are 16 or over. The assessment is not to assess your ability as a carer but to ensure you are offered the support you need as an individual.
It’s your choice whether or not you choose to have an assessment but, together, we can plan the support you may need to allow you to continue caring.
If you would like to talk to someone about your role as a carer, please contact:
Telephone Number: 01685 724507 (Adult Carers)
Telephone Number: 01685 353907 (Carers Development Officer)
Your Rights as a Carer
- You have the right to an assessment of your own needs as a carer. The person you care for does not have to be in receipt of services from the local authority for you to request this.
- If you look after someone for substantial amounts of time you may be entitled to support in your own right. **
- You have the right to have your views taken into account.
- You have the right for your contribution as a carer to be recognised.
- You have the right to confidentiality. The person you care for does not need to know that you have contacted us and they do not need to be present when you discuss your needs with us.
- You have the right to information about complaints procedures. (Available from the Duty Office. See address below).
If you work, are learning new skills, enjoy leisure activities or would like to do any of those things, then this must be taken into account when you are assessed.
** Please be aware that there may be a charge for the services you receive**
What help is available?
In many cases, the support we provide to the person you care for will also meet your needs and that will be sufficient. For some, additional help will be needed. Some of the services which are available and could help make caring a little easier and help you to continue caring include the following:
- Home Support – to help the person you care for to stay in their own home, this could include Lifeline and Telecare equipment.
- Respite Care – A break from your caring role. This could be for a few hours or several days.
- Minor adaptations to the home – such as handrails or ramps.
- Information and advice – to give you support and guidance when you need it.
What information is available?
A new Carers A-Z Guide has been produced jointly by Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf Councils and Cwm Taf Health Board in a response to the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure. The Guide will help to achieve better outcomes for all by providing a central resource of up to date information and support services that are targeted to meet the needs of carers and other residents living in the Cwm Taf area.
Training is also provided for carers on relevant topics such as First Aid or Manual Handling and can be accessed via the Carers Development Officer as above.
Further information including top tips for Carers can also be found on the Directgov website.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Kier Hardie Health Park
Duty Office Telephone: (01685) 724507
Emergency Telephone Number: 01443 425012 (for emergencies outside normal office hours)
Carers Information and Development Officer
Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil
89/90 High Street
Telephone Number: (01685) 353907
Age Connect Morgannwg Ltd - www.acmorgannwg.org.uk
Telephone Number: 01443 490650
Alzheimer's Society – www.alzheimer.org.uk
Telephone Number: 01685 353919
Benefits Advice - www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone
Carers Wales – www.carerswales.org
Telephone Number: 029 2081 1370
Carers Direct - www.nhs.uk/carersdirect
Telephone Number: Freephone 0808 802 0202
Crossroads Cwm Taf – www.crossroadscwmtaf.org.uk
Telephone Number: 01443 480484
Hafal – www.hafal.org Telephone Number: 01685 373322
Mind – www.mind.org.uk
Telephone Number: 01685 727522
Princess Royal Trust for Carers – www.carers.org/