To help make finding information more simple there will be a series of Frequently Asked Questions included on the new Action for Family Carers Website.
Below is a list of the questions that our Carer Support workers get asked most frequently
Am I a Carer?
You're a carer if you offer care and support unpaid to someone else who needs help with their day-to-day life. This may be because of their frailty, long-term illness, disability, mental health problems and substance misuse.
Carers may be family members (including children and young people) who live with the person they care for, or even family, friends, or neighbours who live elsewhere. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through voluntary sector organisations.
What is the Care Act?
The Care Act 2014 came into effect from April 2015 and replaced most previous law regarding carers and people being cared for. It outlines the way in which local authorities should carry out carer’s assessments and needs assessments; how local authorities should determine who is eligible for support; how local authorities should charge for both residential care and community care; and places new obligations on local authorities.
The Care Act is mainly for adults in need of care and support, and their adult carers. There are some provisions for the transition of children in need of care and support, parent carers of children in need of care and support, and young carers. However the main provisions for these groups (before transition) are in the Children and Families Act 2014.
What are my rights as a Carer?
Under the Care Act you are entitled to a carer’s assessment where you appear to have needs, this matches the rights to an assessment of the person being cared for. You will be entitled to support if you meet the national eligibility criteria.
The person you care for is entitled to a ‘needs assessment' if they appear to have needs for care and support.
Local authorities are allowed to arrange for other organisations such as charities or private companies to carry out assessments.
What is a Carers Assessment?
A carer's assessment is a straightforward process and usually takes place as part of a discussion. The assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life, and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family.
Your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will be at the heart of this assessment, and it will help to decide what care and support you need, and how much help the local authority can give you. It will explore the impact that caring may be having on you, and help to decide which support would be best to meet your needs.
What Care Agencies are out there across Essex?
There are a number of Care agencies around the county. A directory of those can be found on the Living Well Essex website www.livingwellessex.org
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is paid to people who have care needs which make it difficult to live a normal life. You must be over the age of 65 when you first claim. If you are under the age of 65 you should claim PIP instead.
Attendance Allowance is tax-free and not affected by income, capital, national insurance or work. Attendance Allowance is meant to compensate for the extra costs of having a disability but can be spent in any way.
To apply for Attendance Allowance or ask questions about this allowance the Department of Work and Pensions can help by calling 0345 605 6055 or follow this link
What is Carers Allowance?
If you look after someone, you may be eligible to receive Carer's Allowance. This benefit is intended to help towards the costs of living when you are looking after someone.
What is a Personal Budget Direct payment?
A Personal Budget Direct Payment is a cash amount of money paid to an individual to help them budget and plan care identified in their Support Plan. The Support Plan identifies how the customer should spend their annual Personal Budget fund as agreed by Essex County Council. You can find out more about Personal Budgets here:
What is mental capacity?
Mental capacity is the ability to make a particular decision when it needs to be made.
The Mental Capacity Act empowers and protects by:
- supporting people to make their own decisions, and promoting their right to do so wherever possible
- providing a framework for assessing a person's capacity to make a decision and for making a decision in their best interests if they lack the capacity to make it themselves
- providing ways of planning for the future
Find out more information about mental capacity and the Metal Capacity Act 2015
Should I let my GP know I am a Carer?
Health professionals understand that Carers may require slightly different to others. When you next visit your surgery let the staff in your GP practice know your situation and they can make a note of this on your file.
How can I meet Carers in a similar situation?
Caring can be very isolating and our Wellbeing Groups offer Carers some time out to talk to other Carers, share their experiences and support one another.
There may be times when you want to talk to someone who understands the pressures of being a Carer or you may want practical advice or support to help you cope. Tea, coffee, biscuits and a friendly face will always be available for anyone who needs information, emotional or practical support, or simply feels the need to have a chat.Our Carer Well Being groups and drop-ins are run by a Carer Support and Development Worker and these groups provide emotional support, information and advice for Carers in an informal environment.
What is Power of Attorney?
There are a number of reasons why you might need someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf. It could just be temporary: for example, if you are in hospital and need help with everyday things such as making sure bills are paid. Or you may need to make more long-term plans if, for example, you have been diagnosed with dementia or have been in a serious accident.
Age UK have produced a guide with more information about Power of Attorney which you can find here Power of Attorney Guide
What are my rights at work?
Looking after someone might mean that working regular hours becomes difficult. You might be worried about what to do if complications arise with the person you're looking after when you are supposed to be working. There are things you can do to help cope with the pressures of work and care.
How do I get help getting to and from hospital?
Arranging hospital transport can be confusing. Different types of transport can be arranged for different situations. More information about what options there are can be found here.