Hertfordshire Council takes unusual step to support carers
15th December 2015
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Cases are occurring across the country of family and friends having to go the extra mile to support loved ones who need care assistance, and many are finding that they are being forced to carry out tasks that care professionals should be providing.
In the South West, for example, of the half a million people who act as full-time carers for their loved ones, eight in ten feel isolated because of this role they have had to take on board, according to ITV News.
Hertfordshire County Council takes unusual step to provide support
Hertfordshire County Council in partnership with the county’s CCGs has now come up with a way to help families that have struggled – they are encouraging those with caring responsibilities to come forward and make themselves known so that they can undergo a free assessment.
As well as the potential for financial support, they can put people in touch with voluntary sector partners and advice services such as the Money Advice Unit (MAU). This is on top of the normal financial assistance local councils can provide for things such as mobility aids like stairlifts, walk in baths and ramps, which can help when providing care at home for those with mobility difficulties.
As well as ensuring that this support is available, one of Hertfordshire County Council’s main aims is to look after the health of carers themselves. Carers in Hertfordshire have developed a Carers’ Passport to help carers get out and enjoy something. The Passport provides carers with access to over 350 discounts/concessions with many different companies, including restaurants, attractions, shops and local businesses.
One beneficiary, John Ley, encourages others to make the most of the help available. He struggled at first with the idea of accepting benefits, but it was pointed out to him that, as a taxpayer, it is his right. In an article for LocalGov he gives some advice to other carers: “the help is there for people who deserve it and don’t feel guilty about it because they do want to help you.”
As a scheme that has already made a huge difference to the lives of people in Hertfordshire, other local councils may be interested in developing a similar support system in future, with the help of local businesses around them.
Image Credit: Social Innovation Camp (flickr.com)