Becoming a carer for a disabled friend or relative can be a difficult decision to make, and an even more difficult action to undertake. Unfortunately, becoming a carer doesn’t simply consist of preparing the meals or driving them down to the shops or the mobility showroom. There’s so much more to it, so we’ve looked into the top five things to consider when becoming a carer for a disabled person.
A carer’s assessment isn’t there to assess whether you’d make a good carer, and is instead a way for you and your local council to work out what they can do to help you with your needs and requirements when caring for someone. This will consist of a face-to-face meeting with someone from your local council or an organisation working on their behalf, which you can organise by getting in touch to find out more. Most councils will work on different formats, so it’s easier to contact them directly. It’s also possible to have a new assessment done if your needs change, or those of the person you are caring for.
Leaving Your Job
Leaving work to care for someone full time isn’t as simple as just resigning. Talk with your employer to see if there’s something they can do to help you stay in work, especially if you’ve been there a long time. Whether it’s working from home or working part-time, they can often do something to help. If you need to care full-time, however, it may be a case of considering another form of financial income. It’s also important to consider that some companies may not require you to actually resign. Some will give you an unpaid break from work of up to three years, or an early retirement if you are close to the age of retirement yourself. Speak to your employer for more detailed and relevant information to your job.
In some cases, training might be a worthwhile way of improving the service you can provide your relative or loved one. While there isn’t necessarily any required training to become a carer for someone in your family or a friend, here are plenty of awareness courses that can help give you a better idea of what you might be dealing with on a daily basis. There are moving and handling courses, and training surrounding medication and preventing sores – in short, there is a wealth of information out there if you feel you need it.
To be able to get a carer’s allowance, the person that you are caring for must already get some kind of disability benefit. You have to be 16 or over, and spend at least 3 hours a week caring for someone and aren’t in full-time education or earn more than £116 a week. This fund can help you through any periods where you may not be at work, and provide you with extra funds for daily life or the costs of caring for someone.
Your Own Health and Wellbeing
It’s important to consider your own health and wellbeing before you agree to care for someone else’s. Think about what you can physically and mentally handle, and whether you are right for the job of caring. Of course, there are things in place to help you through these, but it’s still something to consider. Whether it’s disturbed sleep or physical injury from lifting, carers can undergo a large amount of stress and strain, which makes this one of the biggest considerations to think about before you become a carer.
Photo by pjsixft (“PJ”)