It may be a labour of love but the work that carers do is stressful and takes up most of your time. Having information to hand may make your job a lot easier.

A lady is hugging her mother.You are a carer if you take responsibility for looking after a disabled, ill or elderly person such as a partner, friend or relative but do not provide the care as part of a job or work with a voluntary organisation. As a carer, you do not have be living with the person for whom you care. Whilst some carers provide a few hours care a week, others provide round-the-clock care each and every day. Many do this unpaid and without support.

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Support for Carers

If you are caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail or has a disability, there is support available to help you in your caring role and to enable you to look after your own health and wellbeing. If you are providing substantial and regular care, without payment (that is, excluding your carers benefit), for a family member or friend, you can ask for an assessment of your own support needs as a carer, whether the person you are caring for is receiving help from social services or not. This is an opportunity for you to talk about the care you provide, how it is affecting your life and what help may be available to you.

The South Eastern HSC Trust provides a range of support for carers including:

  • Carer Information booklet
  • Advice
  • Carers groups
  • Training for carers
  • Carer events
  • Complementary therapies
  • Breaks from caring
  • Supports for cared-for person

If you would like to receive more information on carer support or to be referred for a carer’s ‘support and needs assessment, please contact the Trust Carer Support Service:

Tel: (028) 9756 5456 or email on [email protected] 

Carers Northern Ireland approximate that 207,000 people are carers, providing care that is not part of a job or work with a voluntary organisation. This means that around 1 in 7 adults here are fulfilling much needed caring responsibilities for loved ones, friends and neighbours. It is essential, therefore, that we attend to your needs.

What are your needs: the Carer's Assessment

As a carer, you can ask for your own needs to be assessed when an assessment of need is being carried out for the person you care for, or, indeed, if the person you care for is entitled to an assessment but does not want one.

Once your carer’s assessment has been carried out, the authority must consider what services, if any, can be provided to you or the person for whom you care. The authority may charge for the services provided but the Trusts are empowered to make direct payments to carers (including sixteen and seventeen year old carers) for the services that meet their own assessed need.

Expert Advice

Visit Carers Northern Ireland for further information and specialist advice.