Information & Advice
Our aim is to respond to Carers and their families needs by enabling Carers to secure their rights and entitlements to make informed choices. We offer free, confidential and independent information and advice to Carers and their families.
We are open for in-person appointments (pre-booked appointments only due to COVID-19 restrictions), telephone or email contact from 10.00am until 5.00pm during weekdays and until 8.00pm every Tuesday. We are also open every 2nd Saturday of the month from 11.00am – 1.00pm.
We provide a wide range of information on a variety of topics, including:
You are welcome to drop in and browse through our leaflets or, if you have an enquiry, please ask to speak with a member of our team.
Going on holiday is a great way to unwind and recharge the batteries. For Carers, there are usually other issues to consider and it can be a challenge to get away. The first question to consider is: are you going to go away with the person or people you care for, or on your own?
Taking a break
If you need to arrange respite care for the person you care for, it is a good idea to organise this first as there may be difficulties in booking a suitable place or services for the days you want – particularly at popular holiday times.
When the Local Authority considers your needs as part of the Carer's Assessment, they should take into account your need for time off; both on a regular basis and to take an occasional holiday. Any services they provide will usually be subject to a financial assessment.
You can also look for local care providers; residential units and domiciliary agencies, by searching the Commission for Social Care Inspection register.
The Kiloran Trust offers respite breaks for carers.
If you arranged a respite break for your loved one and are looking to take a holiday yourself then Carers Holidays run by a Network Partner of Carers Trust, could be the answer. They have great discounts for carers, from 5 – 30% off, on a whole range of accommodation in the UK and abroad.
Holiday services from network partners
Carers Holidays brings together a selection of properties/holidays which have a wide range of accessibility features. It includes accommodation in the UK and abroad - from independent owners who have just one holiday home of their own to let, to hotel chains and online directories. There are also great discounts for carers, from 5 – 30% off, through the Carers Holidays Membership Scheme. Holidays are designed for carers and their friends and/or families to have an affordable break either with or without the person they care for. So if you’re looking to enjoy a break together, or have arranged respite for your loved one and want to have a break away yourself, a Carers Holiday could be just the thing for you. Carers Holidays is run by a Network Partner of Carers Trust.
If you want to go away together, you may have extra considerations to think about, which the following organisations can help you with:
Tourism for All has lots of specialist information about accessible places to stay, as well as advice for travellers with special mobility or other needs.
Many voluntary organisations supporting people with particular conditions have useful advice for travellers, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Parkinson’s Disease Society and The Stroke Association.
Revitalise is a national charity providing breaks for people with disabilities and carers.They provide short breaks for people with disabilities and carers, with 24-hour nursing care on-call and personal support, at three accessible centres in Chigwell, Southampton and Southport. All of their centres offer a wide range of activities and excursions. Volunteers complement the work of the centres’ staff by providing guests with companionship and support.
Park House is a hotel operated by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, enabling disabled guests and their carers, to have a holiday in the Norfolk countryside together.
Carers Holidays, run by a Network Partner of Carers Trust, is ideal if you want to go away with the person you care for. Their website highlights holidays which have a wide range of good accessibility features for disabled people. It includes accommodation in the UK and abroad and there are great discounts for carers, from 5 – 30% off, through the Carers Holidays Membership Scheme.
Another way to get a break is to both go away - but on different holidays. There are a number of voluntary organisations or specialist providers who organise residential holidays for people with disabilities, some of which are listed below:
The Carers UK Carers Rights Guide covers your rights as a Carer and where to go for financial or practical help in England.
The guide includes:
Benefits: an overview of which benefits you or the person you can for may be entitled to and information about how to get a benefits check.
Other financial help: including help with council tax, fuel costs, pensions and health costs.
Practical help: including community care assessment, carer's assessment and direct payments.
Technology: information about health and care technology that could make life easier for you and the person you care for.
Your workplace: your rights at work, from flexible working and parental leave to protection from discrimination.
Other help: how to find other help nationally and in your local community.
Assessments – Getting Care and Support
Carer’s assessments are for adult carers of adults (over 18 years) who are disabled, ill or elderly. You will be entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of need for support. You don’t necessarily have to live with the person you are looking after or be caring full-time to have an assessment. You may be juggling work and care and this is having a big impact on your life.
Needs assessments are for adults (18 years of age or over) who may need help because of a disability, ill health or old age. Anyone who appears to have a need for care or support can have a needs assessment, regardless of the ‘level’ of those needs or the person’s financial resources. Even if you as the carer are providing all the care the person needs, they are still entitled to an assessment.
In April 2015 The Care Act 2014 replaced most previous law regarding Carers and people being cared for. It outlines the way in which local authorities should carry out Carer’s assessments and needs assessments; how local authorities should determine who is eligible for support; how local authorities should charge for both residential care and community care; and places new obligations on local authorities.
If you, or the person you are looking after, are assessed by the local council as needing support, then you or they have a right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the support arranged by the local council.
Homecare, also known as domiciliary care, is a term for support provided in the home by Careworkers to assist someone with their daily life. At times, you might need extra support for the person that you care for or helping you to do things that you need to. As well as looking at technology that might be able to help, there are new ways to find out what care is available locally and how you might access it. The Local Authority produces a booklet on finding care, and there maybe local voluntary sector agencies who offer services to help in the home.
Care Standards and CQC
The care you get in a hospital, in a care home, from an agency in your own home, at the dentist, in a GP practice and elsewhere must meet standards required by law. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the regulator who monitors and inspects all organisations providing care, to ensure standards are being met. All NHS and social care providers have to be registered with CQC and they have to conform to a set of standards. These standards can be found on the CQC website.
Managing Someone’s Affairs
The Mental and Capacity Act also allows a person to plan ahead for a time when they may not be able to make decisions themselves. It clarifies who can make decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about it.
Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person (who is 18 years or over and who has mental capacity) to choose other people to make decisions on their behalf should they ever lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves. There are different types of Power of Attorney these include Property and Financial Affairs LPAs and Personal health and welfare LPAs.
Disagreements with Health & Social Care
We all want the people that we care for to receive good care and provision. There are times when we may disagree with decisions or are unhappy with standards of care. There are local voluntary sector agencies who may be able to assist you with a complaint if you choose to make a formal complaint.
Coming Out of Hospital
Each hospital will have its own discharge policy based on guidance from the Government. You can request a copy of the hospital’s discharge policy from the ward manager or from the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) department of the hospital. Discharge planning starts as soon as the person you care for is admitted to hospital. It is important to let the hospital staff know as early as possible if you are a Carer or thinking of taking on the role. A discharge coordinator (or ward care coordinator) should be available to coordinate the planning process. They will act as a key person for you to contact to find out what the discharge plans are.
Planning for Emergencies
We advise all Carers to create an emergency plan - for you and the person you look after. Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for the person you look after at any point in the future.
You may be able to arrange help and support from family and friends but it can be reassuring to have the involvement of your local council/trust in case informal arrangements fall through.
One way to do this is through an assessment for the person you look after or a carer's assessment for yourself. See our webpage on assessments for the person you look after and carer's assessments for further information.
When Caring Ends
Looking after someone may be a large part of your life, but it is inevitable that your caring role will change over time. This may be because the person you cared for has recovered and no longer needs care, they can no longer be cared for at home, or because they have died. Whatever your situation it is important to realise that you are not alone. It will be difficult, but you can find help and support.
Residential or nursing care
If the person you look after is no longer able to look after themselves and you are unable to provide the care they need, for whatever reason, residential or nursing care is a sensible and realistic option. London Borough of Sutton produce a local Care Home Directory.
Immediately after a death there are a lot of practical things to do, like registering the death and arranging the funeral, and family and friends tend to be around a lot more. It may be that only when all the practicalities are dealt with, and the people around you get back to their everyday lives, that you really start to grieve.
There are many organisations, such as Cruse Bereavement Care, which run groups for people who are grieving. Your GP can put you in touch with a local bereavement counsellor if you’d like more formal one-to-one counselling. Many hospices also provide bereavement support for the families of people who have used their services. Sutton Carers Centre have a moving on Group for Carers who are no longer caring.
Carers UK and Age UK offer free factsheets on many practical subjects visit:
KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE
Whilst caring is often rewarding it can also be hard work.
It can be easy to put your own wellbeing, and indeed your own safety, to one side when you are focused on caring for someone else; but it’s important that you take time out to focus on your own health, both physical and mental.
You have to be fit and healthy to be able to care properly. And without regular breaks and time out from your caring role it can be easy to ‘burn out’ and even start to resent the person you care for.
Here are some things you should consider:
Are you able to take a break?
Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you caring for your back?
Are you feeling stressed or anxious?
Are you able to take a break?
Caring for someone can be a full-time job so breaks are vital to your own wellbeing and quality of life.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Sleep is a vital part of our daily life and important for our physical and mental health. However, many carers often struggle to get a good night's sleep.
Are you caring for your back?
Most of us will suffer back pain at some stage of our lives. But as a Carer, you're even more likely to be affected. Knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape.
Are you feeling stressed or depressed?
Caring for someone can be very rewarding and can bring you closer together, but it can also be challenging and sometimes upsetting. Stress and depression can affect anyone, but the pressure and expectations of caring can make carers particularly vulnerable
You should advise your GP if you are a Carer. You may be offered a health check and they may also be able to offer additional support or be more flexible with appointment times if they know you are caring for someone. If you’re the main Carer of an older or disabled person who would be at risk if you were ill, you may be entitled to a free NHS flu jab. You can also get one if you get Carer’s Allowance.
Sometimes the person you care for may harm you. This may be due to the condition they have, or because they are feeling angry or frustrated. It is important to tell someone about this; extra support, information or services can be provided if you feel you are at risk to help keep you and the person you care for safe.
Equally there may be times when you are finding it hard to cope with your caring role, or feel you no longer want to care. Speak to a member of staff at the Sutton Carers Centre, who will help you to get the right support.
LOCAL AND NATIONAL SERVICES
Age is different for everyone and, of course, the challenges and the demands are different for everyone, too. AGE UK provide a range of services in response to the needs of older people and work with a number of partners, groups and organisations to guide, support and help older people, their families, carers and the community to love later life. For more information go to: www.ageuk.org.uk
The UK's leading dementia support and research charity, for anyone affected by any form of dementia. They provide information and practical and emotional support to help people live well with dementia, and invest in world-class research with the ultimate goal of defeating it. They also campaign to improve public understanding of dementia and the devastating impact it can have, and make sure it's taken seriously and acted on by our governments. For more information go to: www.alzheimers.org.uk
Admiral Nursing Service (Dementia UK)
Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who give expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia to help them cope. They are registered nurses, and have significant experience of working with people with dementia before becoming an Admiral Nurse. For more information go to: www.dementiauk.org
Sutton Borough CAB Service
A registered charity that provides information and advice on issues such as housing, welfare benefits, employment, debt and relationship breakdown. Sutton CAB Service provide a free, confidential, independent and impartial service. For more information go to: www.suttoncabx.org.uk
Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. They work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. With locally based Network Partners (such as Sutton Carers Centre) they are able to support carers in their homes through the provision of replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks. For more information go to: www.carers.org
Carers UK is there to listen, to give you expert information and advice that’s tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever you are. They offer an expert telephone advice and support service if you want to talk about caring. For more information go to: www.carersuk.org
A FREE health improvement service available to anyone over the age of 16 who either lives or is registered with a GP in Sutton. To help you to LiveWell and decide where you want to make a change you can access reliable information on a range of health topics relating to your health and wellbeing via this website: www.live-well.org.uk/sutton
Sutton Mental Health Foundation
Sutton Mental Health Foundation was founded for the benefit of people with experience of mental distress, and their Carers, resident in the London Borough of Sutton, by providing facilities for recreation or other leisure-time occupation in the interests of social welfare, with the objective of improving quality of life. Their priorities are to meet people’s personal and social needs, and to meet the need for people to assert their rights and realise opportunity and have a voice. For more information visit: www.smhf.org.uk
Sutton Women’s Centre
SWC (Sutton Women’s Centre) is a local organisation run by women and provides local women with information, support, advice on local services and education. They aim to provide a safe meeting place and drop-in centre for all women, offer free counselling service & support to meet women’s needs and provide a helpful resource and information centre: www.suttonwomen.co.uk
South West London Law Centre
South West London Law Centres provides specialist legal advice and representation to people who could not otherwise afford access to justice. Their solicitors focus on social welfare law issues such as community care, discrimination, employment, housing, immigration & asylum, debt and welfare benefits to people living across South West London. For more information visit: www.swllc.org
London Borough of Sutton
Sutton London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Sutton. Key services and information include; Jobs and careers, adult health & social care, children, schools and families, planning and building control, libraries & culture. For an A-Z of the Council services visit: www.sutton.gov.uk/a_to_z
South West London & St Georges NHS Mental Health Trust
Are a leading provider of mental health services across south west London. They serve 1.1 million people across the London boroughs of Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth, providing care and treatment through a variety of mental health services for adults and children, both in community and in-patient facilities. For more information visit: www.swlstg-tr.nhs.uk
For other services available in your local area visit ALPS (Advice Link Partnership Sutton): http://www.suttonalps.org.uk/advice