Posted: Tuesday 13th June 2017
To mark the start of Carers' Week which runs until the 18 June, Hertfordshire County Council wants to highlight some additional support that is available to hard-working carers.
It is estimated that there are as many as 115,000 unpaid carers looking after family members, friends and neighbours across Hertfordshire, yet many carers lack help or support.
To tackle this problem, Hertfordshire County Council has introduced a new carers' online self-assessment form which carers can complete in their own time. The form has been designed with the help of carers to ensure that it is easier for other carers to register for support by assessing their own needs.
The carers’ assessment form is an essential first step in finding out what support might be available and can make a huge and positive difference in the lives of carers.
Heather Good, 61, from Baldock has been a carer for her husband Phil since he suffered a serious brain injury following an accident in 1998. Heather volunteers for Carers in Hertfordshire and the brain injury charity Headway.
One of her roles at Carers in Hertfordshire is to help other carers to find out what support is there.
She said: “Getting support is so beneficial, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the social and emotional support that you can get from charities and other organisations.
“Carers can be lonely and isolated and having someone you can talk to makes such a difference. Getting the right support can be so helpful. If the carer’s confident and relaxed then the person being cared for is as well – it’s a win-win situation.”
Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Our carers make an enormous contribution to the community and we have strengthened the support available to reflect this.
“We want carers to be recognised for the important role they play in our community and be supported to stay fit, healthy and safe so that they can carry on caring if they want to.”
A carer, as defined by The Care Act 2014, is someone who provides help and support, unpaid, to a family member, friend, or neighbour. Carers may be eligible to a range of support that’s provided by the council and our partners, including organisations such as Carers in Herts and an assessment will help to identify which support is most useful for them.
Support available to carers, provided by the council and partners such as Carers in Hertfordshire, includes:
• information and advice with carer planning support
• funded carers breaks
• carers’ direct payments
• carers’ Passport, provided by Carers in Hertfordshire and giving unpaid carers access to discounts and concessions at businesses across Hertfordshire
• learning and training opportunities
• financial and employment advice
• involvement in developing services and policy
For more information, or to complete a self-assessment, visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/carers
Throughout this week, there are a number of events for carers throughout Hertfordshire. Find out more here