There are around 45,400 carers in Kirklees. Carers are those who provide unpaid care for relatives or friends who are ill, frail, have a disability or who have mental health or substance misuse issues. This care could be provided 24/7, or just for a few hours a week. It might involve helping someone get washed and dressed, going shopping for someone, cooking meals if they are unable to, or making sure the person they care for is safe.
Being a carer can impact on your day to day life significantly. It can impact you emotionally (it can be both rewarding and isolating), financially (you may be unable to work) and physically (your own health can suffer as a result).
No. There is a difference between being a ‘carer’ and being employed by an organisation in a job role such as ‘care worker’, ‘support worker’, or ‘healthcare assistant’, etc. The term ‘carer’ should always refer to a person caring for someone on an unpaid basis or claiming benefits like Carer’s Allowance. Therefore, many carers are juggling their caring role alongside their careers.
You might not have considered yourself to be a carer because you think that the care you provide is something that “you just do” for your husband, wife, parents, children or friends. However, if you give your time and energy to support a friend or relative who has a health condition as described above, then you are a carer. Many of us will experience being a carer for someone during our lives.
We can provide you with advice and information on a range of issues, including:
- Where and how to get help
- What you, and the person you care for, are entitled to
- Carers Assessments
- Personal Budgets and Direct Payments
- Welfare benefits
- Employment and education
We also provide one-to-one support and carer breaks through our Mental Health service, and we have an advocacy service for carers.
Carers Count and other organisations across Kirklees provide training for carers on a range of topics, including:
- Mental health awareness
- Moving and handling
- Understanding the Care Act
- Understanding Direct Payments
- Caring for someone with memory deterioration
- 'Share and Care' with Kirkwood Hospice, which includes topics such as looking after vulnerable skin, nutritional needs, helping people to move safely, living with fatique, coping skills and mindfulness
- Building resilience
- Meditation (8-week course)
- Speaking up for yourself
- Skills for work or volunteering
You can find out when and where courses are running by visiting our Calendar or the #KirkleesThinkCarers Facebook page:
If you have an idea for some training you would like us to run, please contact us.
Advocacy is about helping carers to have a voice and be listened to. Often carers struggle to ask for help, know where to turn, or feel they are not being consulted when decisions are made about the person they care for. An advocate will work with you to help you find information, work out what you want to say and help you to communicate that to others (for example at appointments, assessments or review meetings), so that you are fully involved in what is happening.
A carer's assessment is completed by the local council to help you look at what support you need in your role as a carer. The assessment is a chance for you to discuss how your caring responsibilities affect you. It will look at:
- Whether you're willing and able to carry on providing care
- Whether your caring responsibilities have any impact on your wellbeing
- Whether you need any support and what that support is
- What you'd like to achieve in your day-to-day life, e.g. you might want more time to take part in activities you enjoy.
For more information and support in regards to completing a Carer’s Assessment, please see our Information and Advice section. Alternatively, you can contact Gateway to Care directly on 01484 414933 and ask for a Carer’s Assessment. For help and advice about looking after yourself, please visit our Carer Well-Being page.
Yes! Carers Count is really keen to hear your views and ideas on how the service can develop. You could become a volunteer, a befriender, join a forum, or give us your feedback in a way that suits you!
Please let us know if you have not been able to find an answer to your question by using the Contact Us page.
To access our service, please telephone 0300 012 0231 or visit the Contact Us section of this website.