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What is a carer? - Carers UK Forum

What is a carer?

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76 posts
Hello,

New here Image

I am currently supporting a recently bereaved relative in her late 80s. Am I a Carer? How do I find out, and what is the criteria for being classed as a Carer in the UK please?

Many thanks,

Owen
Hi,

I am new here - is there anybody out there please?

Image
Thanks SussexRokx,

My relative is very keen I move in with her specifically to care for her, I have already done a great deal to help her around her home and indeed will do more. I have also attended to the lion's share of paperwork which has come her way since her spouse sadly passed on - a month ago - and with which she cannot cope. We had immense trouble with the bank for example which I sorted by writing to their Head Office and there are 101 other concerns which need to be addressed, but they are being got round to on a 1 by 1 basis.

I can do a lot of things to help but I cannot do heavy lifting (chronic muscular condition), would this debar me from becoming a 'formal' carer? I phoned your help line and they told me that if I were listed as a carer at my relative's address that I could still call on services if a situation arose which was beyond me, such as heavy lifting?

The volunteer at your help line said she'd send me a 'carer's document' which would address many of the unknowns that I currently face. Taking up residence with my relative would mean forsaking my assured tenancy where I live now, which would be quite an emotional wrench for me: I have lived here many years.

These are some of the concerns which face me at this moment in time. In passing, the bereavement also touched me personally since these are close relatives.

Many thanks again,

Owen
Hi!
There is no such thing as a "formal carer" - or indeed, an "informal carer". There are paid care workers, and unpaid carers. Hours are variable, anyone providing even a few hours care is a carer, and we all have limitations, for example I am rather poor at jumping through hoops, lol!

If you are providing more than 35 hours a week care, you may also be able to claim Carers Allowance, and your relative will probably be claiming either DLA or Attendance Allowance. You are also entitled to an assessment by your local social work department, which may or may not provide support services such as a regular break, and free information and advice about health and social services in your area.
Hi Owen and welcome to the forum.
From what you have written I would definitely say you are a carer because you are spending a long time there and are doing a lot of things to help. Not doing heavy or "hands on" caring doesnt stop you being a carer - I dont do that with my hubby either, although I am still a carer.
Think very carefully about moving in with your relative - caring is rather like a lobster pot, once you have started doing things its almost impossible to stop, and the more you do the more you will be expected to do.
Does your relative have paid care workers going in to help with the heavy lifting - baths etc? If not I would advise you to ask social services for a needs assessment. Even if you moved in with her she would still need someone else to do this.

PS sorry there was such a long wait before any answers. Image Most of us are usually on here first thing in the morning (before our carees get up) or later on in the evening(once our carees go to bed)
A couple of tips: DO NOT give up your assured tenancy until you are:
a) sure that you have a home to go to after your relative passes on
b) have your relative sign a legal will and power of attorney - this will say who has the right to make decisions for them about money and healthcare if they lose capacity.
c) have consulted the social services department and asked for support - don't let them off the hook, negotiate support before you take the plunge not after, - you have a better bargaining hand to play with.
[quote]A couple of tips]

Thanks to all and especially Scally,

This is the sort of information that I desperately lack and have been putting off asking for. Caring for another is a selfless act but in the real world it would be irresponsible not to consider every aspect of such a major commitment I feel.

I can start looking ahead now that certain formal aspects of caring for another are presenting themselves.

My relative is mobile around her home at the moment, with the use of a walking stick. But she is in her late 80s so I must be realistic. We already have a wheel chair in reserve, which I identified in a catalogue months ago for her late spouse. It is excellent, light-weight and folds up easily: the then carers took to it at once (late spouse) so I know it was a good choice.

Thanks again for this practical advice.

Owen
That's good to know Owen, you are a carer, as you're already thinking like one. Bear in mind that if your relative "needs", and I emphasise "needs", various items of equipment in the future, this can, by a referral from her GP, be supplied through the NHS community equipment services, as can various other items - such as - when needed - continence pads (through District Nurses) etc.
Thanks SussexRokx, and for your earlier post.

We had a lot of support from the NHS and other Care Providers in respect of the partner who died recently, so I am in the loop - in a sense - already. I think I need to contact the local council in question and sound them out with regard to services.

Otherwise, the forum has kindly given me some good advice to be going on with, and I will update.

Best thanks,

Owen
Dear Forum,

I have sounded out NHS Carers on this topic. They have told me that to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, the caree would need to be in receipt of a disability benefit. Is this correct please?

The lady I am currently helping with day-to-day chores is in her late 80s, has had a hip replacement and walks with some difficulty using a walking stick. She has been told that her hip replacement is in danger of wearing out, and at her age cannot be replaced. Consequently, she has been warned to be very careful with regard to walking and the use of this replaced hip joint.

She has a Blue Badge (disabled driver) on account of her hip condition but has not been apprised of any other form of disability allowance that she might be eligable for.

Please advise.

Many thanks,

Owen
It's quite correct, your caree would need to be claiming Attendance Allowance for you to be able to claim Carers Allowance.
76 posts