Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Adult Services and Public Health, said: “Unpaid carers are an extremely important group of people but while they are providing vital support to those with care needs, they also need support in their own right to help them stay physically and emotionally well, and maintain a life of their own.
“Many of our most vulnerable residents rely on unpaid care from a network of family and friends. Over the past eighteen months, this essential lifeline has never been more important. Our message is that there is help on hand. If you or someone you know is providing care in an unpaid capacity, there are a number of simple steps you can take to ensure you get the help and support you need.”
Advice for carers:
- Register as a carer with your GP surgery to ensure you don’t miss out on the right support
- Claim your free flu jab (and COVID booster) to protect yourself and those for whom you care
- Familiarise yourself with the range of advice and support available from the Hampshire carer support and dementia advice service commissioned by the County Council from Andover Mind. This is not just for those caring for individuals with dementia but for anyone acting in an unpaid caring role. Details of a series of face-to-face and online support events can be found on their website at https://www.andovermind.org.uk/events/
- Request free assistance to plan emergency care - The Princess Royal Trust for Carers can help anyone who cares to draw up a plan and may be able to offer short term cover in an emergency. Visit https://www.carercentre.com/emergency_planning.html or call 0800 169 1577 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find out what other practical support might be available. For general information and advice visit http://www.connecttosupporthampshire.org.uk/ or call the Hampshire Coronavirus Support & Helpline on 0333 370 4000.
It’s not just adult carers who are able to access support. Young carers in Hampshire are entitled to have a carer’s assessment to see whether any help can be provided. More information is available on the County Council’s website.
There are also independent support groups – called young carer projects - in all areas of Hampshire providing a wide range of help, advice, and information. Contact the Hampshire Young Carers Alliance https://hyca.org.uk/ for more information, or The Children’s Society Young Carers Forum https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/information/young-people/young-carers.