This page answers the following questions:

What services are available to carers?
How can I take a break?

What services are available to carers?

Carers look after family, partners, friends and disabled children who need support to live at home. The care they provide is unpaid.

If you are a relative or carer you can ask hospital staff if a named person is available to contact for help and advice. There may be an information pack giving details of local services and local carer support groups to support your role as a carer.

Carers of people with a neurological condition have the right to ask social services for a separate assessment of their needs. This includes young carers under 16 years. You do not have to be living with or related to the person to qualify for a carer’s assessment. If you care for a disabled child your needs will be considered as part of the assessment of the needs of your child and family. You can contact your social services department for details.

If your situation changes (for example you are spending more time caring) then you may ask for your needs to be reassessed. It is a good idea to ensure that your GP is aware that you are the carer of a person with a neurological condition. Your health needs can then be fully assessed.

As a carer you may also qualify for state benefits, some of which are paid on top of any other income and benefits. For further information, please visit Directgov.

How can I take a break?

Respite care provides a break from caring. There are many different sorts of respite care. It ranges from informal help from your family and friends to more formal respite care arranged through your GP or social services department. A temporary stay in a residential home for the cared for person and attendance at a day centre are examples of respite care. Provision of respite care may be discussed at your carer’s assessment. You may also be able to arrange and pay for respite care privately.

For more information for cares, please visit the following organisations:

Next: Ongoing management

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