What support can young carers get?

Gillian MartinNorthern Ireland Young Members Convenor Gillian Martin writes on the support young carers can get and where to find it.

Since April ’13, when care homes across the country faced closure, it’s become increasingly apparent that closures severely affect not only the residents, but also the friends and relatives who are now looking after them without support.

With few members under the age of 27 left in PCS, many us are likely to have relatives old enough to develop symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Our employer provides the ability to re-arrange our working patterns to allow us to care for our relatives, but where do you go for support? Who helps relieve the constant mental and emotional stress of watching a loved one deteriorate and trying to look after them day in, day out? I contacted some charities and support groups to ask what support they provide:

Carer’s Trust

Carers Trust works 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 problems. We do this with Network Partners – a network of independent carers’ centres, Crossroads Care schemes and young carers’ services. Together we are united by a shared vision for carers – to make sure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers.

For more information, call 0844-800-4361 or visit http://www.carers.org or http://www.youngcarers.net. You can email info@carers.org for further advice.

Alzheimer’s disease International

ADI is the international federation of 79 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. Our vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. We work locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, visit http://www.alz.co.uk.

Alzheimer’s Society

We are the leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. We offer a wide range of services and local support across Northern Ireland. These include home care support (in some Health Trust areas) for people with dementia, befriending services, dementia cafes and carer support groups. We also provide carer support programmes and one to one visits for families offering advice, support and signposting for all aspects of dementia, including financial and legal matters, practical help, and understanding diagnosis and assessment.

We have a National Dementia Helpline on 0300-222-1122, which is open seven days a week (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday). Our advisors offer a confidential service and a listening ear, providing guidance, advice and support to callers.

There is a wealth of information on our website, including over one hundred factsheets, providing up to date and reliable information on every aspect of living with dementia. You can also access our online support network, Talking Point, via the website, where you can learn from the experiences of other carers and people with dementia. The website address is http://www.alzheimers.org.uk.

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