An unpaid carer is an adult or young person who looks after a family member or friend because they have a disability, illness, mental health condition or condition that means they could not manage without this help.
There are thousands of unpaid carers in County Durham providing care or support to a relative, neighbour or friend. Most people who are carers don't see themselves as carers, but as husbands, wives, partners, parents, sons, daughters, siblings or friends.
Caring for someone can involve things like helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to appointments or keeping them company when they feel alone.
Unpaid carers can now get their needs assessed to help get support for their caring role regardless of the level of care they are providing, or their financial situation. This is the case, even if the person they care for has refused an assessment or services or does not have eligible needs that can be met through social care.
The assessment looks at how caring affects the carers life - physically, mentally and emotionally. It also considers what they want to achieve and whether they are able, or willing, to carry on with their caring role.
It assesses the following priorities:
- Carers are supported in their caring role and offered a carers' assessment.
- Carers are equipped to maintain their own health and wellbeing.
- Appropriate support, signposting and services are available to carers.
- Cares are supported in the workplace.
- Ensure sustainable funding is available for carer support services for both adult and young carers.
- Ensure appropriate and responsive support is available to adult and young carers.
- Continue to promote the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
- Provide training to carers to promote good physical and mental health.
- Ensure carers have access to funding to help them take a break from caring responsibilities.
- Provide employment support for carers and help employers to develop carer friendly workplaces.
- Assist carers in knowing what benefits they can access and claim.
- More people will tell us they feel supported in their caring role.
- Fewer carers will need to access emergency service provision due to a reduction in carer breakdown instances.
- More carers will access available funding in order to take a break from their caring role.
- More carers will access an NHS carer health check.
- More employers will become carer friendly.
- National and local carer surveys will tell us if we are making a difference.
- With the support of our carer providers, outcomes for carers will be regularly monitored.
- More people with caring responsibilities will be signposted to carer support services.
Find out more about this subject in the related Objectives, Goals, Initiatives and Metrics (OGIM) document on Durham County Council’s Committee Services website under the Heath and Wellbeing Board meeting agenda item for 24 November 2021.
We are keen to hear your views on the content of the plan, including our priorities and the measures we have identified to understand if we are making a difference. Please complete the form below, to provide your views and comments, and these will be passed to the person responsible for this chapter.