Without reliable and high quality care and support services, carers are not able to have a life of their own outside caring.
Most of the people supported by care service providers have a carer somewhere in the background. Families want great quality care services which support the carer as well as the patient, making them feel part of the care.
Use Carers Week to recognise and celebrate the vital role that carers play in looking after loved ones. From holding a special event to launching a new policy, there are all kinds of ways for care services to involve and consult carers about the care of the person they look after and recognise that carers might need support too.
Care & support services must be reliable and trustworthy to give carers the peace of mind they need to take breaks from caring or develop their own personal, social, professional lives.
Care and support services must help to foster family relationships by ensuring carers have time to spend with their partners, or with friends and relatives. These services should also ensure that carers and those being cared for are supported to have breaks together or separately depending on their wishes.
Actions care & support providers can take to be more carer friendly:
- Actively welcome feedback and input from family members, involve them in decisions about the care package and support provided to the person needing care.
- Promote a carer's assessment to anyone caring unpaid for the person you support
- Signpost advice, information and support services to carers
- Recognise that some of your staff will have unpaid caring responsibilities of their own. As an employer, there are many simple things you can do that will improve the health and wellbeing of colleagues, as well as improving retention of staff. Just talking about caring makes a difference, as does promoting flexible working.
Commissioners have new duties to support carers under the Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 in England, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act due for implementation in April 2016 and the forthcoming Carers (Scotland) Act due for implementation next year in 2017.
There are many simple actions that you can take to become more carer friendly:
- Develop or launch a new strategy to help carers or use Carers Week as a way of consulting carers.
- Use Carers Week to connect with many community organisations in order to reach out and help carers access different preventative services.
- Look after people in your workforce who are carers as well as employees.
- Join Employers for Carers business forum and raise awareness of caring throughout your organisation.