The Carers' Resource is the local, specialist carers' centre for the
Bradford and Airedale, Harrogate and Ripon, and Craven districts of Yorkshire.

Carers' Resource - You care for them, we care for you

Reports

Inadequate housing impacts on carers’ health – new report

A new report reveals carers’ and their families’ health could be affected by unsuitable housing.

Caring Homes examines the impact of inaccessible housing on carers and their loved ones in the UK.

Carers and families need greater choice and flexibility of housing, report recommends

Carers and families need greater choice and flexibility of housing, says report

It draws together evidence on the impact of housing on health and outlines some of the key housing challenges for carers.

Among its key recommendations, the national report calls for a housing strategy to be developed with the needs of an ageing population at its heart.

It also says:
• The Government should exempt carers who need an extra bedroom to help them carry out their caring responsibilities from the bedroom tax
• Local authorities need to support and setting up a nationwide database of suitable properties
• Carers and their families need greater choice and flexibility of housing
• Planning obligations should be better utilised, to help ensure more accessible and suitable homes are built – and flexible across a family’s life course.

And it recommends that in monitoring the implementation of the Care Act 2014, the government should include an assessment of whether housing needs are being considered as part of carer’s assessments and needs assessments.

Click here to read the full report.

More needs to be done to support carers – report reaction

A new report analysing the effects of the Care Act has revealed many carers are still not aware of their right to support.

Carers’ Resource Director Chris Whiley recommends the survey’s findings should be used as a tool to ‘further promote and fight for carers’ rights’.

Carers' Resource Director Chris Whiley

Carers’ Resource Director Chris Whiley

Carers Trust, the UK’s national charity for unpaid carers, sought views from those looking after a loved one who is disabled, sick or frail, to gauge if the introduction of the Care Act in 2015 had an impact on support they received.

The report’s findings show the new act, which entitles carers to an assessment of their own needs, gives a ‘mixed picture’ with some examples of good practice, while some carers questioned said the act had made no difference.

In some instances carers said they were unaware of the act, and its implications to them as a carer.

Our reaction to the findings has also been published in the Telegraph & Argus report here.

Mrs Whiley  says: “What’s clear is that the language used in laws and reports doesn’t necessarily translate to what carers understand they are receiving on the ground.

“If you ask a carer if they want an ‘assessment’ they can look at you blankly; they may even think we are asking if the person they look after needs an assessment, not them as an individual.

“And many carers still do not recognise themselves as ‘a carer’ so they’re not even aware that support is out there, never mind the fact they’re entitled to anything. Yet one in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lives.

“When we meet carers and as ask them ‘how are you?’ they can immediately start telling you about the person they look after, how they are, and not themselves.

“This is what has to change. Everyone needs to become more aware of what a carer is, the fact they have their own set of needs – and that places like Carers’ Resource are here to help them as an individual to have their own quality of life.”

She adds: “By bringing the subject into the public arena more and more we can help raise the profile of carers and make sure more carers are given the support they need to carry out their role with confidence.

“Everyone in our society has a role to play in making it happen and this is reflected in the report’s recommendations.”

 

Rising number of older carers – report reveals

The number of people in their 80s or older who are relied on as carers has rocketed in the last seven years, according to a new report.

Age UK says one in seven of the “oldest old” – an estimated 417,000 people in all – now provides some sort of unpaid care to family or friends.

More than half of these 80-plus-year-olds clock up more than 35 hours a week.

Carers’ Resource Director Chris Whiley says the message to older carers is to seek support before ‘breaking point’ and to look after their own health.

“Caring can be demanding, relentless and exhausting – whatever the age. For all carers we constantly remind them to make sure they’re looking after themselves, and to even put their own health first.

“If they fall ill and can’t cope, or have to have treatment or even go into hospital, then the situation can become even more challenging and difficult for both involved.

“Carers often neglect themselves and put the person their caring for first. Their health can deteriorate and some also find themselves depressed, isolated and stressed out.

“But it’s important all carers try to get as much support as possible, and as soon as they can, so they can care with confidence and make it a positive experience.

“Whether it’s help finding specialist equipment, a leisure activity or special interest group, or help filling in forms, or just someone to sit with their loved one while they have a break – we can help them with all of this.

“One of the key issues is also that people don’t realise they’re a carer.

They don’t identify themselves a carer and say ‘she’s my wife,’ ‘he’s my brother,’ ‘it’s what I do,’ – and on many occasions we don’t see carers until they’re at breaking point.

“When we find a carer each situation is unique. Being a carer is never planned and often the caring role can be sudden, and in the case of older carers it can be something which gradually evolves as their spouse, sibling or friend becomes frail or develops a condition, such as dementia, arthritis or a life-limiting illness.

“Once people are aware they are carers they can then start to get a package of support on board – and we’ll help them every step of the way.”

 

The findings come from a yearly representative household survey of 15,000 people aged 60 and older. The results were multiplied to give an estimate for the whole of the UK.

In 2009, an estimated 301,000 people in their 80s were carers. That figure has now risen by nearly 40%, largely due to an ageing population but partly due to a lack of state support, says Age UK.

Carers’ centres help boost carers’ skills and wellbeing

A new report which focused on five carers’ centres – including the Carers’ Resource in Harrogate – has found they offer a great return on investment.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, which supports a network of carers’ centres across the UK, has produced the report which reveals they are making a massive impact and improving outcomes for carers, and those they look after.

Winter Warmth is helping support families

Our First Contact Winter Warmth is supporting families in need in Bradford and Craven districts.

Pleas read our report.

Compiled over an operational period of three months,  more than 2,000 individual referrals were made on to agencies for specialist support – including financial support, fuel poverty and health advice, and extra support in keeping warm in winter.

 

 

 

 

Carer Support Pathway in End of Life Care

                                             
A report based on a six month pilot project to identify needs and recommend solutions for supporting carers during the ‘final year of life’ phase of a caring role. For the full report, click here.

An end of life care pathway focused on the carer

Carers play a crucial role in supporting people at the end of life but often they can feel sidelined. Anna Jackson describes a carers support project – and outlines a carers pathway which reminds professionals of their needs – read the full report here.