The new Care Act is being dubbed by some as the ‘Carers’ Act’ as it brings carers much-deserved recognition for the role they play.
For the first time, the legal reforms give equal weight to the needs of the adult carer as the needs of the adult they look after.
Local authorities now have a duty to meet the needs of carers – such as giving them the right to gain support to stay in work, enjoy time with the family or pursue hobbies.
Anne Smyth OBE, Director of Carers’ Resource, says: “It is a new dawn for carers.”
And the rights and recognition of unpaid carers are now ‘strengthened and embodied’ in the Act, which came into force on April 1, 2015.
“The law will change overnight on April 1 – but the world won’t change overnight,” says Anne.
“Carers will be entitled to have their own person-centred assessment of their needs irrespective of the needs of the person they care for and can receive a range of services in their own right.”
The new law places a duty on local authorities, and those they choose to work with, to consider ‘wellbeing’ principles’ – for example the impact a caring role can have on an individual’s health, day-to-day life, relationships and ability to work or pursue hobbies.
Services could now also be delivered to the adult being cared for to help meet the health and wellbeing needs of the carer – an important example of this being respite.
The news has been covered in the Telegraph & Argus
Anna Jackson, Head of Development at Carers’ Resource, said: “If a carer is struggling to balance their own needs, such as staying in work or enjoying family time, with their caring role they should come and talk to us about the new rights the Act brings in and how this could help them.”