St Gemma's Hospice
Providing access to palliative care information and education for patients, carers and professionals to promote end of life choices
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Information for carers

Am I a carer?

You are a carer if you have the responsibility for providing or arranging care for someone else who, because of long-term illness, disability or old age etc., is not able to care for him or herself.

Some people are employed by care agencies to provide formal care in a paid role, but the vast majority of care in our communities is unpaid and is provided by someone who knows the person personally and informally. This might be:

  • A parent
  • A son or daughter
  • A brother or sister
  • A husband, wife or partner
  • A relative, friend or neighbour

What is a carers assessment?

A Carers Assessment is an opportunity for you to talk about your situation and the things that could make life easier for you, as a carer. The assessment is carried out by someone from Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council.

The assessment should look at a range of different issues including:

  • Access to welfare benefits
  • Getting a break from caring
  • Equipment or adaptations to the home
  • Opportunities for contact with other carers
  • Services for the cared for person to enable you to continue working
  • Signposting to services that would help if you had an emergency and were no longer able to care

The assessment should also take into account your wish to work, engage in education, training or leisure activities.

If you wish to have a Carers Assessment, please contact Adult Social Care: 0113 222 4401.

What financial assistance is available?

If you are an informal carer you may be entitled to claim ‘Carers Allowance’. To be eligible you must look after a child or adult who is receiving:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (formerly the Disability Living Allowance) at the middle or higher rate care component or
  • Attendance Allowance at either rate

You must also look after them for at least 35 hours per week. This time can be taken over 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your earnings must not be over £100 per week (after deductions of NI, tax and half of your contributions toward an occupational or personal pension). You may not be entitled if you are a full-time student, and studying for more than 21 hours per week or more, and other State benefits may disqualify you if they pay you more than £58.45 per week).

If you qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you will also get a Class 1 National Insurance Credit and may be entitled or get an increase in other income-related benefits such as Pension Credit or Employment Support Allowance/Income Support.

(September 2013)

Please see the section on Financial help and advice for further information and contact numbers.

How can I get support?

Your own needs are important and it is important to recognise them, so that you can be supported in your role of carer. Often all the attention is placed on the person needing care and your needs can be overlooked. By getting in touch with a carers information and support organisation, you can look after your needs while also making sure that the person you care for is getting the best help and support available.

Leeds City Council website gives information on the advice and support available to carers in Leeds. They can also assess your individual needs through a Carers Assessment (see above).

There are also other organisations providing support and information to carers in the Leeds area. Making contact with one of them gives you an opportunity to discuss your circumstances and the needs of the person you are caring for.

What is Carers Leeds?

Carers Leeds is an organisation that offers a confidential support and information service to carers. They also offer opportunities for carers to get a break from caring, meet up with other carers for mutual support, friendship and have some social time. Carers Leeds can be contacted by telephoning 0113 246 8338 and / or by email.

Other resources

You may find many of the other sections of this website helpful such as financial help & advice, bereavement or explaining to children.

Other resources that may be of interest:

  • Websites for young carers:

Willow Young Carers Service is a support service for young carers aged 5-18 years old living in Leeds.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has launched a website for young carers in Scotland

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    This website has been developed in partnership by NHS and health and social care organisations in Leeds following the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme.
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