Unpaid carers and staying healthy

A carer is: "a person of any age, adult or child, who provides unpaid support to a partner, child, relative or friend who couldn't manage to live independently or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help. This could be due to frailty, disability or serious health condition, mental ill health or substance misuse."

The Royal College of General Practitioners, 2011

Do you care for, or support a family member or friend who relies on your help? 

Carers might do the following:

  • Personal care e.g. assistance with bathing and dressing
  • Help with medication
  • Cooking, grocery shopping and domestic tasks
  • Accompanying to appointments
  • Transport
  • Help managing finances
  • Emotional support

A lot of people who provide unpaid support, do not see themselves as carers, as they may feel that is a normal part of life. According to the 2011 census, there are 22,588 unpaid carers in the borough. In Greenwich we appreciate the immense contribution of unpaid carers to our community – we also know that caring can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to fit around your other commitments. That's why we have a range of services that can help and support you to care.

Under the Care Act 2014, carers have new legal rights and entitlements. These include: a right to an assessment of your needs, support to meet these needs and help to plan them, an equal standing in law to the person receiving health and social care, the right to buy your own support using a direct payment and the right to have your needs considered when the person you care for is assessed.

If you feel that this applies to you, then visit the Royal Borough of Greenwich website and you could be entitled to receive any of the following support:

  • A Carer's Needs Assessment (if you're over 18, you could receive a personal budget to support you in your role. This payment is not dependant on your earnings and will not affect tax or benefits.)
  • Advice on benefits that you may be entitled to
  • Health advice
  • Counselling
  • Respite
  • Peer support