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What is a carer?

A carer is "a person of any age, adult or child, who provides unpaid support to a partner, child, relative or friend who couldn't manage to live independently or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help. This could be due to frailty, disability or serious health condition, mental ill health or substance misuse." - The Royal College of General Practitioners, 2011.

A lot of people who provide unpaid support do not see themselves as carers as they may feel that is a normal part of life. This support might include:

  • personal care such as assistance with bathing and dressing
  • help with medication
  • cooking, grocery shopping and domestic tasks
  • accompanying to appointments
  • transport
  • help managing finances
  • emotional support.

In Greenwich we appreciate the immense contribution of unpaid carers to our community - we also know that caring can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to fit around your other commitments. That's why we have a range of services that can help and support you to care.

Carers' rights

In April 2015, there were changes to the way care and support is provided in England. The Care Act introduced new rights for carers, meaning that you can get the support you need to help you continue caring and look after your own wellbeing.

Since April 2015 you have had the right to:

  • have your views taken into consideration by health and social care services when supporting or treating the person you care for
  • have an assessment of your own needs as a carer (either jointly with the person you care for or separately)
  • specific advice and information for carers that you can understand
  • have your say if you are no longer prepared to care, or are not prepared to do an element of caring
  • be helped to develop a carer's support plan
  • a personal budget to meet any 'eligible needs'
  • a choice as to how your personal budget is managed.

More about carers' rights and the Care Act.

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