Carers Trust Solihull can provide you with support however we know there are times when you just want pointing in the right direction.

Here you will find hints, tips and other services that can guide and support you in your caring role.

Your Health

As an unpaid carer, it is important to look after your own health, so you can maintain a quality of life and your ability to care is not affected. The following information is important for all unpaid carers;

  • Register with your GP – telling your GP that you are an unpaid carer will help them to understand and support you better
  • Health Checks – prioritise your own health.  Ask your GP for a health check.  Carers Trust Solihull also provide quarterly health checks for carers.  You can also monitor own blood pressure.
  • Flu Vaccine – unpaid carers are a priority group, so you are entitled to get this for free by asking at your GP practice. This vaccine is important for you as a preventative measure for the person you care for.
  • Stress Management – being an unpaid carer can be stressful, so it is important to recognise your stress triggers and know how to manage stress in your daily life. Carer Training – Carers Trust Solihull offer a range of workshops that look at different aspects of caring including first aid awareness and coping with stress.  We also provide Emotional Freedom Technique training and Mindfulness Courses.
  • Relaxation – Carers Trust Solihull provide relaxation days where carers can access free therapeutic treatments and health advice.
  • Emotional Support – Sharing how you’re feeling, letting off steam and offloading is really important to managing your stress levels.  It’s not easy to talk to those close to you sometimes, soCarers Trust Solihull offer emotional support over the phone and face to face.

Looking after your health and nutrition

Emergency planning, equipment, loneliness and relationships

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

Self help and care

Money

There are benefits just for carers, some for people with a disability, and some to help you if you have a low income. Working out what benefits you may be entitled to can feel like a battle.  Having the right information and support can make a huge difference.

This section helps to signpost carers to appropriate organisations which can help with any money questions or problems you might have.

Remember, you can still claim some benefits if you work, have savings or own your own home.

Finances – when you first become a carer

Benefits, health costs, debts and household finances

Benefits calculator, grants, benefits and emergency financial support

Your local branch for face to face money and debt management advice

A free service for people in financial need.  Help to access benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face

How to get a Break

Being a carer can be hard work and you might need to take a break sometimes.  Respite is a short break, anything from a couple of hours to several weeks, away from caring to give you time to recharge your batteries. You may find that it helps you stay stay well and feel better able to cope with caring

You may also want to consider funding or getting a break from caring by:

Asking for care organised by your local authority

Getting funding from a benevolent fund or charity

Paying for a break yourself

Accessing bursaries and low-cost holidays

Getting leisure discounts

Asking friends and family to help

Replacement care, respite care and emergency planning

Benefits, health costs, debts and household finances

Different types of breaks for carers

Local hubs for information, advice and support and support to access services in Solihull for you and/or the person you care for

A free service for people in financial need.  Help to access benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face

Transport

Whether you are doing some shopping, going to a hospital appointment or having a day out there is lots of support to help you, and the person you care for get about.  There are national schemes that can help with accessible toilets, parking Blue Badge Parking Scheme and Motability -mobility cars.

Find out what discounts you, and the person you care for, may be able to get on public transport or vehicle tax.

Carers Trust Solihull also provide transport to and from activities if you can get to one of our pick up points in central Solihull and Chelmsley Wood.

Always contact us if transport to and form place is a problem for you.

Network West Midlands – Accessible public transport and products in the West Midands

Transport and getting about with mobility issues

Out and about with medication and equipment

What the law says about public transport for disabled people

A door-to-door service for anyone living in the urban areas of the West Midlands that struggles to use conventional transport.

Someone to talk to

We understand that although caring can be deeply rewarding, it can also be an emotional rollercoaster that includes a range of emotions such as isolation, guilt, loss and sadness. Taking time to care for yourself can help but when there is so much to manage it is difficult to know what would help. Talking to someone is a wonderful first step which is the reason why there is a variety of support to fit in with your life.

Talking to someone over the phone or online may not provide all the benefits of a meeting someone in person or meeting other carers in similar circumstances but it can stop you from feeling alone and connect you with others or other services.
• Carers Trust Solihull on 01217881143. You can access a support worker
• NHS Direct is a 24-hour telephone health advice and information service. It has an advice service, where you can talk directly to a nurse if you or the person you care for are unwell. It also has a health information section, if you want more information about a health matter or local health services. NHS Direct Telephone: 0845 4647.
• The Samaritans provides 24-hour emotional support for anyone who is feeling distressed. Telephone: 08457 909090

Online forum – Talk about real issues with other people who understand and can support you

Counselling advice and support

If something is troubling you, call a confidential helpline open 24/7

Your Rights as a Carer

As a carer you have the right to:

A carers assessment

Access to a self carers assessment

A market of services to support you

Advocacy services

You or someone else can ask your local carers centre to visit you to carry out a carers assessment or they are accessible from social services on 01217048007.

If you have already had a carers assessment, you can request to have it reviewed if you feel that your needs or circumstances have changed.

Your rights and the Care Act

Your rights at Work

Training and Work

If you are juggling work with looking after someone, you are not alone – there are three million working carers in the UK.  Juggling work and care can be very challenging, so it’s important to find out about your rights.
• The right to ask for flexible working hours
• The right to time off in emergencies

As well as these rights, employers might also offer additional support, e.g. you may be able to use leave, paid or unpaid, to cover periods when you may need to be at home caring.

If you are struggling with work or feel you may have to give up your job due to caring or if your employer is asking questions about your attendance or if there is a problem – talk to them and explain your situation so they can understand and help you.

Carers Trust Solihull can advise and assist you to exercise your rights in the workplace.

Employment rights for carers

Support for working carers

If you want to start work