A lifeline to Sunderland carers

Sunderland Carers' Centre worker Kevin Devine helps carer Lynn Brettwood access information.
Sunderland Carers' Centre worker Kevin Devine helps carer Lynn Brettwood access information.
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A LIFELINE of support is being thrown out to carers.

As part of this year’s Carers’ Rights Day, which takes place tomorrow, a series of events will help them in their vital, yet unpaid, role.

Kevin Devine, from Sunderland Carers’ Centre, said “At these events we are working with our partners in Adult Social Care and Primary Care services.

“We all want to reach as many people as possible who are looking after family members, friends and neighbours who have a long term illness, disability or are elderly and frail.

“The way services are being provided is changing, moving away from traditional services to more personalised ones.

“Hopefully, the changes will give people needing care and their families more choice and control over the support they receive.

“But this can be difficult and daunting to imagine, particularly for those who have been using and relying on the same services for years.”

He added: “We also want to tell carers about services and information they can access right now, anything from getting a break from their caring role to planning for unexpected emergencies to employment and benefit rights.

“Carers will also be given an opportunity to find out more and get involved in the public consultation, for the proposed changes to the way people contribute to the cost of their social care services.

“This is particularly important for carers, as services become more personalised and the responsibility to make these arrangements often falls on their shoulders.”

The events take place as a new survey reveals carers in the North East are facing bleak choices as they struggle to care for their sick and disabled relatives, with nearly half of those surveyed saying money worries were affecting their health.

A survey of 174 carers in the North East by Carers UK has found that 49 per cent were being made ill by money worries.

“These figures make shocking reading,” said Emily Holzhausen, director of Policy for Carers UK.

“It is a scandal that, despite this contribution, carers end up sick with worry about how to make ends meet.”

*A guide to caring can be ordered from 0808 808 7777 or downloaded from www.carersuk.org

Promoting best practice

A NEW publication, Carers’ Perspectives on Assessment and Personalisation, will be launched tomorrow at the Sunderland Bangladeshi Centre.

It is aimed at professionals working with carers, to promote good practice around assessment and personalisation.

The publication is a joint project between Sunderland Carers’ Centre, Carers Association in South Tyneside and Sunderland University.

This launch event will allow carers to pick up information and ask questions about how the changes in services will affect them.

The event run from 10.30am to 2.30pm and lunch will be served.

Attendance must be booked in advance by calling 567 3232.

•A consultation on the development of carers’ services will take place at the Bunny Hill Customer Service Centre, Hylton Lane, on Tuesday.

It will run from 10am to 2.30pm. A buffet lunch will be served at each event. There is no need to pre-book.