Blog > Could you be a carer?

19 December 2017


Today’s blog is brought to you by The Charity for Civil Servants and is the first of a 2-part blog takeover by fellow Civil Service organisations.

The Charity for Civil Servants formed in January 1886 as The Civil Service Benevolent Fund and was renamed in 2012. The Charity supports all civil servants, past and present, throughout their lives, with whatever problems they may have. 

We provide health insurance for civil servants - contact us for more infomation or to get a quote today.

Could you be a carer?

If you provide unpaid support to a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems, you are a carer. You might feel that you’re doing what anyone else would in your situation; looking after your mum, son, or best friend and just getting on with it, but it's important to know you are a carer and are recognised by others for doing a vital job - especially because caring can be physically and emotionally demanding.

Throughout December and January, The Charity for Civil Servants is running a nationwide awareness campaign to highlight the support available to our Civil Service community on all aspects of caring. We’re also keen to encourage others to spread the word about our support. If you’re interested in applying for help or think you’d like to be an advocate, please check out our website for details of how to Get Help and Give Help.

If you’re new to caring and aren’t sure where to start, the Charity can provide you with a wealth of information and advice.   

If you’re a working civil servant, our Carer’s Passport could help communication with your employer about the things that would make it easier for you to balance your work commitments and caring responsibilities.

You may also want to explore what support is available to you outside of work and a Carer’s Statement may help you with this. It’s available to serving, former or retired civil servants and their informal carers and is a communication tool for use with GPs, Health and Social Care Professionals and Carers’ Organisations. The Statement provides details of the caring responsibilities and the impact they’re having on you so that you can access the support and advice you’re entitled to - it also avoids the need for you to continually repeat yourself and explain your circumstances.

Being a carer can be isolating and demanding and you may feel you want to talk to someone about it. Carers are legally entitled to an assessment of their own needs and you probably have questions about rights, entitlements or services which you have never needed to know about before. The assessments are available through your Local Authority in England, Wales and Scotland and through the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.   

When it comes to emergencies, being prepared can’t stop them happening, but it can make difficult and worrying situations more manageable. And it’s these times that being prepared matters most. Creating a Carer’s Emergency Plan will enable you to consider what would happen to the person you care for, and how they would be supported, if you were to experience an emergency or were taken ill which means you are unable to care. The Charity has created a template Emergency Plan which you can complete as a safe way to hold essential information about the person you care for, what their care needs are and who needs to be informed if something goes wrong.  

We also provide signposting to other organisations and advice on grants that may be available from other funds or charities.

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