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Support for Carers

Support for Carers

The University of Exeter is committed to supporting all staff with caring responsibilities to achieve a good work-life balance. This page aims to provide all relevant guidance and support for carers in one place, in collaboration with the staff Parents and Carers Networks.

If you have any queries, comments or suggestions, please contact parentsandcarers@exeter.ac.uk 

The University has a range of policies and procedures in place to support and guide staff with caring responsibilities, including:

Caring for a family member or friend with a long-term illness or disability is tough at the best of times, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made things even tougher. Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer, Senior Lecturer in Ageing and Family Care (College of Medicine and Health), has prepared this list of 10 essential resources so that University of Exeter staff who are carers can get the support and information they need to weather this storm.

  1. If you need advice on your caring role or your rights as a carer, the Carers UK Advice Line is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 0808 808 777.
  1. Other carers can be a valuable source of support and advice. You can connect with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Carers UK Forum https://www.carersuk.org/forum
  1. As a carer you’re entitled to support from the NHS Volunteer Responders. More details are available on this page: https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-portal/isolating
  1. If the person you care for is taken to hospital, you are allowed to go with them. It might be helpful to print this information and take it with you, because not all hospitals are aware of or following this guidance. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0524-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-5-June-2020.pdf
  1. If you weren’t previously eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you might be now. During the pandemic the government changed the criteria to include providing emotional support and remote caring. More details are available at https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
  1. If the pandemic has caused you to struggle financially, help is available. This page from Carers Trust details all the financial support carers are eligible for, as well as emergency funds and food support. https://carers.org/money-and-benefits/intro
  1. Check out the UK Government guidance for carers during the coronavirus. This guidance is for adults aged over 25 who are providing care: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care/guidance-for-those-who-provide-unpaid-care-to-friends-or-family. This guidance is for carers aged under 25:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/young-carers-and-young-adult-carers-providing-care-during-coronavirus
  1. Check out the Carers UK guidance for carers during the pandemic. It’s available here https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/getting-care-and-support/77-help-advice/health/your-mental-and-physical-health/6268-coronavirus-guidance
  1. If you get sick and are unable to care, your friends and family might not know what to do. A contingency plan is a good way to prepare for the unexpected and Carers UK has advice on how to put one together. https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/planning-for-emergencies
  1. If you need to talk confidentially or are in crisis, the Samaritans provide free telephone support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don’t need to be suicidal to call, you can call for any reason. The number is 116 123.

Healthy Parent Carers

The Healthy Parent Carers programme was inspired by and developed together with parent carers from the Family Faculty in the Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit (PenCRU) based in the University of Exeter Medical School. It aims to improve health and wellbeing among parents of children with additional needs and disabilities through:

  • Promoting greater empowerment, resilience and confidence of parent carers;
  • Taking small steps that are associated with better health and wellbeing;
  • Encouraging setting achievable goals and taking a problem-solving approach;
  • Providing information through a group programme or online resources.

IDEAL: Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life

IDEAL is the largest study of living well with dementia in the UK. The evidence will enable the development of new policy, interventions and initiatives to transform the lives of people with dementia and their carers. The programme has recently published guidance for people with dementia and carers which offers ways of staying well during the coronavirus lockdown. The five key messages for staying well can be found here.

Here is a list of useful links to external organisations offering support and advice for carers, both nationwide and local to Devon and Cornwall: 

Nationwide:

Devon:

Cornwall:

Caring for children with a long-term illness or disability: