A carer is someone who provides support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. All the care they give is unpaid.Since the Covid-19 pandemic, even more people are looking after someone at home, and many do not know that help is out there. Local charity, Carers Support Centre works with GP practices across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to make sure carers are recognised and supported at their GP practice. The charity urges anyone who looks after someone at home to register as a carer with their GP practice.
Tim Poole, Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre says:
“If you are helping to look after someone, it is vitally important to tell your GP. Register yourself as a carer at your GP practice or medical centre. As a carer you are entitled to a free flu vaccination. Your practice will also provide you with information about local help for carers, and they may be able to offer you more flexible appointments. Remember your GP practice is there for you and the person you care for. By letting them know what your needs are, you can help them to help you.”
Carers Support Centre provides a range of practical services including a confidential telephone helpline and online help, carers emergency card, one-to-one support, telephone counselling and befriending, training and employment support.
If you look after someone at home, contact your GP practice to register as a carer. Given the current circumstances, your GP surgery is likely to be very busy. Visit their website first to see if it is possible to register as a carer online.Once you have registered, the practice will add you to their carers register and send you a carer’s information pack.