A carer is someone who looks after and supports a friend, relative or neighbour who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness or disability.
Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be any age and anyone can become a carer. Many feel that they are doing what anyone would do in the same situation; looking after a mother, wife, son or best friend, for example. You may not think you are a carer or you may not live with the person you care for and so don't ask for support.
If you care for someone, and it has an impact on your life, you are entitled to have an assessment of your needs as a carer.
A carer's assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment and you may benefit from:
- receiving information about local support groups
- just having someone to talk to
- information about training available to you
- advice about how to get a balance between work and caring
- assessment of your needs
- information on how your GP can help you
- practical help
- services to enable you to have a break from your caring role.
You can have a carer's assessment even if the person you care for does not get any help from the council, and they need not be reassessed.
Our carers' assessments are carried out by Northamptonshire Carers:
Request a carer's assessment
Direct payments for carers
If you need other types of support you may be eligible for a direct payment to support you in your caring role. This can be spent on things to make your caring role easier. We will be able to help you to find the right support - just ask for a carer's assessment.
If you would like an assessment please
contact Northamptonshire Carers.
If the person you care for needs help and support
If you would like advice from the council, please contact adult social services to arrange an assessment or a care review for the person you care for.
How to request an assessment or a review
Access to support organisations
There are a range of organisations across Northamptonshire that offer support groups and activities for carers. Some of these are provided for carers looking after family members with specific health issues, such as dementia, Parkinsons, mental health issues or drug and alcohol problems.
You may be eligible for certain benefits as a carer.
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who need someone to help look after them because they are physically or mentally disabled. Find out if you are eligible and how to claim.
Carer's Allowance is a taxable benefit to help people who look after someone who is disabled. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you care for.
Personal Independence Payment (replacing Disability Living Allowance)
The Personal Independence Payment is for disabled people aged 16 to 64.
Employment and Support Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance replaces Incapacity Benefit and Income Support that is paid because of an illness or disability for new claimants from 27 October 2008. If you are already receiving Incapacity Benefit, you will continue to get it as long as you are eligible.
Help with health costs
Most National Health Service (NHS) treatment is free but there can be charges for some things. You may be able to get help with NHS health costs if for example you're on a low income.
If you can't work because of illness or disability you may be able to get Incapacity Benefit (IB), a weekly payment for people under State Pension age.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
If someone has difficulties that mean they can't make decisions anymore, they will need help managing their finances.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs should they lose capacity. To find out more visit the
Office of the Public Guardian website.
You will find additional support and information on the national carers website.