WHAT IS A CARER?

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.

Carer Services and support

Support Groups and wellbeing

Carers welfare benefits

Carers Assessments

Carer Services and support

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:

  • Information advice and guidance
  • Benefits advice and support
  • Carer Support Groups
  • Carers training and coaching
  • Emergency Planning
  • Advocacy and Representation
  • Advice about home adaptations and equipment
  • Carer counselling
  • Circles of support

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.

Services include:

  • Advocacy about care, mental health and mental capacity 
  • Social isolation prevention services
  • Carer-specific information and advice services 
  • Carers’ support groups, including dementia
  • Training programmes to support carers in their role
  • Additional services around time-banking and finding legal support, particularly concerning carers’ rights in employment and the workplace
  • Support for young carers, for example, young carer activities, trips, and events during term time and school holidays.

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 (advice@carersuk.org)

Trained staff will provide information and guidance to unpaid carers on a range of subjects including.

  • Benefits and financial support
  • Your rights as a carer in the workplace
  • Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
  • Services available to carers and the people you care for
  • How to complain effectively and challenge decisions

https://www.carersuk.org/home

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.

Support Groups and Wellbeing

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. 

 

      • Sudbury and Wembley Dementia Support Groups.

         Sudbury & Wembley Dementia Carers Support Groups ONLINE MTGS.pdf – Google Drive

      • Brent Carers Centre – support groups, wellbeing services and training for carers.

https://brentcarerscentre.org.uk/

      • Brent Gateways Carer Wellbeing services.

Brent Gateway Partnership

      • Dementia Club UK.

https://dementiaclubuk.org.uk/

      • Arts 4 Dementia.

https://arts4dementia.org.uk

      • Dementia Cafés Brent – open to carers and their loved ones.

Click here for Cafe Map

      • Brent outdoor gyms – free gym equipment in Brent parks.

https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/culture-leisure-and-parks/sports-and-wellbeing/outdoor-sport-facilities/outdoor-gyms/

Carers Benefits

Carers Allowance

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:

  • provide more than 35 hours per week of care. This may include providing physical support, helping with managing day to day tasks like washing, dressing etc.  It can also include watching over someone to keep them safe.
  • earn less than £128 per week (after deductions) from any paid employment. This does not include any personal or work pensions in payment.
  • care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance (any rate), the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (any rate), Armed Forces Independence Payment or Constant Attendance Allowance (at the full day rate or above)
  • Are not in full time education

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:

https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

Universal Credits

  • Universal credits are payments to people on low incomes or those who cannot work to help with living costs. It is replacing these legacy benefits:
    • Housing Benefit.
    • Child Tax Credit.
    • Income Support.
    • Working Tax Credit.
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
    • Income-related Employment and Support 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:

  • You are working and on a low income or you are unable to work.
  • You are aged 18+ and under pension age (in some instances you can claim UC if you are 16/17 and a student but this is complex and you should get advice about your current situation).
  • You live in the UK.
  • You have savings of less than £16,000.

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.

Help with your council tax

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

  • Liable for the council tax
  • Living in the property as your main home
  • Have savings of less than £6000

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. 

If  you are unsure about whether you are eligible for council tax support please use the online calculator https://brent.entitledto.co.uk/home/start or at https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

Discounts on your council tax bill

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:

  • you live alone – council tax is calculated based on the assumption that two people live in your property. If you live alone, you will be entitled to a 25% discount.
  • you live with someone under 18 or a student (students are disregarded).
  • You are a carer and providing 35+ hours of care to someone that is not your partner or a child under 18 and is in receipt of one the relevant disability benefits (Attendance Allowance any rate, PIP any rate of daily living, DLA care component middle or higher rate) You do not have to be claiming Carers Allowance to be eligible for this discount.
  • you have a severe mental impairment and live alone or with one other person. A severe mental impairment means a permanent condition which severely affects intellectual or social functioning. This can include conditions like Parkinson’s, dementia, and learning disabilities.

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. 

Carers Assessments

What is a carers assessment?

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. 

Who can have a carers assessment?

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

What will happen during the assessment?

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:

  • your caring role and how it affects your life and your wellbeing
  • your health (physical and mental)
  • your feelings and how you feel about providing care
  • work, education and training
  • relationships and social activities
  • planning for an emergency.

What next?

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.