Checklist for new carers

Look after your mental health

1. Speak to your local council about getting a carer's assessment

Once you've organised the assessment with your local council, start thinking about

The assessor will help find support and other services for you. They should also help understand if you're eligible for any other benefits.

Find your local council

2. Register as a carer with your GP

It's best to let your GP know what's going on. You may be eligible for things like a freee flu-jab. And they are the best person to look out for signs you might be struggling with the demands of caring.

3. Don't forget about your own interest and hobbies. You should continue to do the things you enjoy.

Caring can be very demanding. Its important to take time away from your caring responsibilties. Make sure you look after yourself as well. Meet up with friends, go for a walk, whatever you need to do to unwind and relax.

4. Have some time off

Caremmunity firmly believes you are not alone. Caring for a loved one, is not a solitary job. There are people and services that will help, when you need a break. You must reach out and ask for help.

Take care of your wallet

5. Apply for Carer's Allowance

You should be eligible if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and earn less than £123 a week. Carer's Allowance is a payment of £67.25 a week to spend on anything you want.

Start applying for the carer's allowance

6. Use the Age UK benefits calculator

Age UK provide a benefits calculator, along with loads of great advice. Check it out.

Use the Age UK benefits calculator

Your job

7. Speak to your employer

If you're still working, you should speak to your employer and let them know what's going on. You may need to take impromptu phone calls or longer lunch breaks. It's always best to be upfront with your manager. They may be able to get you extra support.

8. Ask for flexible working if you need

As a carer, you have the right to time off in an emergency, and the right to request flexible working. After the Coronavirus pandemic, when millions of people were forced to work from home, employers around the country realised that it can be done! If you need to ask for more flexible working arrangements, ask. Whether that's starting earlier or later, taking a longe for shorter lunch break, working from home a couple of times a week, your employer should offer solutions to help with your care respeosiblities.

Your loved one

9. Get a care needs assessment from the local council

Speak to your local council and they will put you in touch with a social care professional who will assess what sort of things your loved one needs and is eligible for. Make sure you have permission from your loved on first.

Find your local council

10. Sort out a benefits check

Making sure your loved one is getting all the help they're eligible can be complicated. Use the Age UK benefits calculator as your starting point. It's free to use.

Use the Age UK benefits calculator

11. Look into home adaptions

Caremmunity firmly believes that, where possible, the best place for vulnerable or elderly people is in their own home. However, some homes may need some modifications and adaptions to help your loved one get around or complete home tasks. there are an ver growing number of products to help your loved one stay in their own home.

12. Think about the future

And finally, although it can be difficult, you should make sure your loved one has all their affairs in order, including future care needs, their preferences, peers of attorney and their will.

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Elderly man a woman walking with sticks smiling at each other