Support and advice for carers in Westminster
Looking after an adult with a disability or health problems can be a tiring and stressful experience. The good news is that you don't need to struggle on alone - there are lots of organisations out there offering support to you as a carer, and you have legal rights which ensure that you will get the help you need.
Our section on Looking After Someone is full of information and advice to help you in your caring role, but on this page we have summarised the main things you need to know if you are a carer in Westminster, including details of the organisations who can offer you help and advice.
Carers Network are the first point of contact for information, advice and support to help you in your caring role. They provide telephone, one to one and group support, grants and breaks. They also offer home visits.
They also have:
- End of Life project supporting carers who are over 65 and caring for someone at the end of their life,
- Former Carers project supporting unpaid carers seeking options after their caring role has ended.
Carers Network contact details
Tel: 020 8960 3033
Address: Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, London, W10 4JL
A Carer's Assessment
If you are providing support to an adult with a disability or health problem you may well be entitled to complete a carer's assessment with your local council. This could pave the way for you to receive a wide range of support which will help you in your caring role.
Go to our page on Requesting a Carer Assessment to find out more.
Carer Personal Budgets
Following a carer's assessment you may be entitled to receive a Carer Personal Budget. This is a sum money which you can use to pay for support and activities which will help you to manage the demands of being a carer.
The ActiveWestminster Card
You may be eligible for an ActiveWestminster Card which allows you to access free swimming and other discounts at Westminster leisure centres.
Taking a break
Taking a short break from your caring role can allow you to recharge your batteries and focus a bit more on yourself.
If the person you look after has completed an assessment with your local council you may be entitled to support in taking a break - take a look at our pages on respite support, and on short breaks to support the carers of people with learning disabilities.
Extra support at home
Sharing your caring role with others can help reduce the pressure on you. The person you are looking after may be entitled to support from the council following an assessment of their support needs.
Alternatively you may want to make your own arrangements.
However you arrange the additional support for the person you look after our following pages may be of particular interest to you:-
- Support In Your Home
- Personal Budgets And Direct Payments
- Meals and Meal Services
- Regaining Your Independence
- Equipment To Help At Home
- Gadgets To Help You Stay Safe
- Help With Walking and Mobility
Emotional support for carers
Looking after another adult can be an extremely stressful and emotionally draining experience. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk things over with someone outside of your circle family and friends.
Our page on Emotional Support For Carers gives details of some of the organisations out there who can offer you some emotional support.
Avoiding physical injury as a carer
Supporting someone who has a physical disability and, for example, struggles to stand up and move around independently, can be hazardous if you don't know the right techniques and don't have access to the right kinds of equipment.
Our page on Lifting and Handling gives advice to carers on how to look after someone safely, and on getting help if you have hurt yourself because of your caring role.
Benefits and financial advice
Looking after an adult with care needs can take a toll on your finances - perhaps you have had to give up paid employment to carry out your caring role, or are facing additional heating or other costs.
Balancing caring with work and education
Having a demanding caring role does not necessarily mean that you cannot take on paid employment, or return to the education system, and you have legal rights which will support you to do this.
Go to our page on Balancing Caring and Education to find out more.
Support for all carers
Open Age Time for Me runs a free weekly support and activities group for carers aged 50 and over living in Westminster. A diverse programme is organised to provide carers with an opportunity to have some time for themselves.
Carers Network operates a Carers Time Bank where members help and support each other by exchanging their skills, knowledge and experience. There is also a calendar of events, activities and training for members. For every hour of help you give you, you receive an hour of time credit to receive help from other members.
Phone: 020 8960 3033
Westminster have produced an Essential Guide for Carers
Looking after someone with dementia
The Admiral Nurses provide information, practical advice and emotional support for people living in Westminster who care for a relative or friend who has dementia.
This handy leaflet gives you details of a variety of interesting events and activities going on locally for people with dementia and their carers.
Looking after a young adult
As children with disabilities and health problems grow towards adulthood there are special arrangements in place to ensure that they are properly supported in meeting the challenges of adult life.
Our page on Young People In Transition will tell you what to expect, and from there you can find out about the services offered by Westminster to support young adults with disabilities and health problems, and their parents / carers.
Looking after someone with a drug or alcohol problem
The Recovery and Wellbeing Network run by Turning Point & Blenheim offer advice and support for substance misuse issues for anyone ages 18+.
Contact them by phone or email.
Phone: 0330 303 8080
The Alcohol Service run by CGL offers advice and support for those with issues around alcohol misuse for any one aged 18+ within the 3 boroughs.
GP's, family members, carers and friends, or any other agency such as social services, can refer someone into the service.
They can be contacted by phone or email.
Phone: 0800 014 7440
CGL have websites for each borough, please click on the links below;
Support for Black and Minority Ethnic
The BME Carers and Families Forum aims to:
- share ideas and information
- discuss carers' rights and learn about local support and activities available to them
- provide an opportunity for training and developing new skills
- meet with people in similar situation;
- enable carers to gain support from multi-lingual staff and volunteers.
The forum is open to carers or those whose family uses care services, and is free to join for the residents of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham boroughs.
For more information and to find out when the next forum takes place contact Idil at Midaye by phoning on tel 020 8969 7456 or 07818723789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staying fit and healthy
Looking after someone can put a strain on your health - your opportunities for going out, being active and taking some exercise may be limited. And your health may be affected if you are tired, or if you are having to carry out difficult physical care tasks. And if you are not feeling at your best then the caring role can become even more challenging.
There is information and advice on trying to stay healthy throughout People First, and particularly in our section on Taking Care Of Yourself.
The Health Trainers scheme offers free health checks to people between 40 and 74, and can then give advice and support on living healthier lives.
If you want to arrange a health check then there are also various other options - go to our page on NHS Health Checks to find out more.
The ActiveWestminster Card allows you to access free swimming and other discounts at Westminster leisure centres.
If you want the opportunity to do some gentle, light exercise then our Events calendar is a good page to start.
And our section on Exercise and Sport gives details of local sports and other facilities.
The People First Events calendar
Give yourself a break from your caring role, get out and about and meet people, and join in all sorts of fun activities. Our Events calendar includes a wide range of activities and events, including many which are provided especially for local carers.
The Westminster City Save Card
If you are 16 or over and live in Westminster then the Westminster City Save card will entitle you to a wide range of discount offers around the borough - save money on using gyms and sports facilities, going to the theatre or a museum, eating out, shopping and much more.
The CEA Cinema card
The CEA Cinema Card allows people with a disability to obtain an additional free ticket so that a carer can go with them to the cinema..
Other information and advice
Westminster have produced a leaflet called Carers and the Care Act.
They have also produced an information booklet with information on support services for carers in the local area.
Carers UK is a charity set up to help the millions of people who look after an older, disabled or seriously ill family member or friend. They provide information, advice and support for carers. Their website also has a discussion forum where people can talk to others who know what they are going through, support each other, and share ideas.
NHS Carers Direct is a support service for the five million people in England who look after someone else, with information covering all aspects of caring, including advice and support, benefits and local services.
Westminster Advice Services Partnership (WASP) is a consortium of three established advice agencies - Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK Westminster and Migrants Resource Centre - who are working together under one umbrella name. They provide advice which is free, independent, confidential and impartial and available to local residents regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or religion.
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind offer information, advice and support for people with mental issues and their carers.
Age UK Westminster offers advice and support to local older people and their carers.
The Citizens Advice Bureau in Westminster offer practical, up-to-date information and advice on a wide range of topics, including; debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems.
The Advice Plus servsice from A2Dominion offers advice on welfare benefits, money and bill problems, debt, care and support, problems with crime and noise, work and training, housing and much more besides.
The Money Advice Service offers free information and advice on a wide range of financial issues.
The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) provide a database of qualified and approved financial advisors who specialise in giving advice on finances in later life, enabling you to plan ahead or to make the most of your money once you reach retirement and older age.
Adfam provides publications and information about carers' groups specifically for carers affected by substance misuse.
Families Anonymous is a world wide fellowship of relatives and friends of people involved in the abuse of mind-altering substances, or with related behavioural problems.