A carer can be a husband, wife, sibling, daughter, son, or a friend. They help the person living with dementia to manage day to day. This might be by providing practical support like help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, or managing medication and therapies or it could be emotional support and guidance. This can be both draining and emotionally upsetting. With all this in mind it is important that carers get the advice, support, and guidance they need to continue to care for their loved ones and to keep well themselves.
Brent Carers Centre is a partner organisation that provides a range of services to people living with dementia and their carer. They have years of experience providing support to families in Brent and have a team of qualified advisers and support staff. The advice team can provide holistic and tailored advice to family carers and ensure that they are aware of their rights to allow them to continue to provide the best care possible to their loved ones.
Some of the services Brent Carers Centre provide to improve and enhance the lives of carers are:
Contact Brent Carers Centre for more detail on 020 3802 7070 or see their website at www.brentcarerscentre.org.uk for current services and opening times.
Brent Gateway Partnership provides preventative social care services and statutory advocacy support to help people lead full and active lives and have choice and control over the help they receive.
The partnership works from easy to access community-based hubs in Brent. Please see the website for further details http://brentgateway.org/ or by phone 020 3948 0600
CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College is a learning and development centre which provides a range of educational courses, workshops and resources for people living with dementia and their carers. Co-production and collaboration are key to the college ethos and they aim to promote opportunities for improving wellbeing and social inclusion. They do this in a safe environment that nurtures hope, fosters growth, creates opportunity and draws on the strength of peer-to-peer support.
Ashford Place, the Memory Clinic and the Recovery and Wellbeing college are current collaborating to develop a range of courses specifically for people living with dementia and their families which can be tailored to meet the needs of the participants. The workshops will be delivered by people with lived experience in the community to ensure it is accessible to all.
The Recovery and wellbeing college have a range of courses and workshops and a prospectus online at https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/services/recovery-and-wellbeing-college or Tel:02032145686 for more detail.
Carers UK offer a daily telephone advice line dedicated to carers offering advice, information and guidance to unpaid carers.
The telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact them by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trained staff will provide information and guidance to unpaid carers on a range of subjects including.
Carers Direct Helpline is a telephone service for family carers. If you need help with your caring role you can call 0300 123 1053 to talk through your options. The staff can advise you on assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off and respite, leaving or going back to work or education.
The helpline is open from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, and from 11am-4pm at weekends. The helpline is closed on bank holidays.
There are several dedicated support groups in the community for carers of people living with dementia. They are a great resource and are often led by people with lived experience. Support Groups are a fantastic way of exchanging useful information and tips about caring for your loved one in a supporting, informal and non-judgemental environment. Please see details below about current online services for carers and how to access them.
Carers Allowance is a benefit paid to someone that cares for someone who has an illness or disability or is elderly. If you are providing care you may be entitled to claim.
Who can claim Carers Allowance?
You may be able to claim Carers Allowance if you 16 and over and:
You can still claim Carers Allowance if you are receiving state pension but the rules are complex so please contact us for to discuss your personal situation.
How much is Carers Allowance?
The current rate is £67.25 per week. If you receive a state pension of more than £67.25 per week you will not receive any payment of Carers Allowance, this is due to the overlapping benefit rules. However, having an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance may mean an entitlement to an additional payment in your means tested benefits (such as pension credit). For further information please contact the Hubs team.
For further detail and to claim Carers Allowance:
Universal credit is paid monthly and in arrears, the amount you will receive is based on your personal circumstances.
You might be able to claim Universal Credit if:
It is important that you get advice if you are unsure about making a claim for Universal Credit. Please contact the Citizens Advice Universal Credit advice service on 0800 144 8444 . This free service will help you to check if your entitled to Universal Credit and assist you with making your claim.
Alternatively, please contact the Hub team for advice.
Council tax reduction scheme.
If you are on a low income or out of work, you may be entitled to help with paying your council tax. To claim council tax support you must be
Brent council have introduced a new council tax support scheme for people of working age with effect from April 2020. This will mean that your eligibility will be based on the earnings of the claimant and their partner, and a deduction will be made for any non-dependants (other adults) in the household.
The council tax support scheme remains unchanged for people of pension age.
You may also be entitled to a discount on your council tax bill based on your circumstances. Discounts are NOT assessed on your income or savings. The amount of the discount varies, however you may be entitled to a discount if:
To find out more and to claim your discount please contact the council tax department on 020 8937 1234 or contact the Hub team for advice.
Many carers find it difficult to continue caring for their loved ones without getting some support or having respite. Local councils can provide help for people who need care and their carers. The first step in this process is getting an assessment.
A carers assessment can be carried out for carers 18+ who are caring for an adult who is disabled, elderly or has a long-term illness. During the assessment you will get the opportunity to explain your caring role and how it impacts on your life. You will have the chance to talk about the impact on your working life, your own health and wellbeing and your social life. This will then be recorded in the assessment.
It may be that the Local Authority will carry out a carers assessment at the same time they assess the needs of the person you are caring for.
If you are providing care to an adult who is disabled, elderly or ill, you are entitled to a carers assessment. If you have not been offered one you can contact adult social care to request one. They can be contacted on 020 8937 4300 alternatively you can contact Brent Gateway services http://brentgateway.org/ 020 3948 0600
We suggest you prepare yourself for the assessment by thinking about the impact caring for your loved one has had on your own life. Also consider what would help you and make your caring role manageable.
We know that carers often miss out on socialising, they often disregard their own health and wellbeing because the focus is on their loved one. You may find it useful to write yourself some notes about the things you would like to do if you were able to. For example you may have stopped going to the gym or to an exercise class because you no longer have the time or income to continue.
If you would like time to prepare for the assessment ask the council to send you a copy of the assessment in advance so that you have a chance to familiarise yourself with the questions and prepare some notes.
The assessment can be carried out on the phone or in person but the assessor must give you the opportunity to be involved in the process. The assessment should consider:
Once the assessment has been completed there will be a decision about what support if any, will be provided. This may mean support from a local voluntary organisation such as Brent Carers Centre. The decision whether you have eligible needs to be met should be provided in writing. Remember the carers assessment is about you as a carer and your needs. It will not provide for the person you are caring for.