Support for carers

Carers face numerous challenges when caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

Tips for looking after yourself as a carer

How can I look after myself as a carer?

Recognising yourself as a carer is the first step to getting the support you need. Most of us do not see ourselves as carers; we are relatives, friends and neighbours. We are simply doing what anyone would, caring unpaid for a loved one or friend, helping them through when they are unable to do things for themselves. The fact is, you are a carer and there are things that you need to know. No one likes to be labelled, but recognising yourself as a carer can be the first step to getting a range of help and support.

Many carers turn to family and friends for support, and to help them to take a break from caring. It is important that you do not cope alone, so speak to someone about your caring role. Others may be reluctant to ask if you need help.

Ask for help

Ever looked at other carers and thought they were managing better than you? That’s because they let people help them. You are not an island and studies show that accepting help and working with others to support your loved one, has much better outcomes for you and the person you care for.

Family and friends can help in a variety of ways, from giving you a break, even if it’s for only an hour. Charities and voluntary organisations provide valuable support and advice on their websites and via their helplines.

Plan ahead

Think about what would need to happen if you were no longer able to care due to illness or returning to work. Developing a plan with friends, relatives and the professionals involved in your loved ones care, will make sure any crisis that arises can be dealt with quickly, as safely as possible and in partnership with you the carer and your loved one.

You may be entitled to certain benefits and services but you have to ask for them.

As a carer, you are entitled to a carer’s assessment, which looks at your needs and how you can be supported.  The NHS Website has information on support and benefits for carers. You can also speak to your GP and discuss what support you and the person you care for need.

Working carers may need a range of support at different times, from access to a telephone to check on the person you care for, to emergency arrangements.

Telling work you are a carer is not always an easy step but there may be existing support or you may find that your employer is open to exploring ways to support carers.

Sharing your experiences with other carers can be a great support as they understand what you’re going through.  You can also share tips and advice.  If it’s difficult for you to be able to attend regular carers groups, there are online forums you can join.

You need to look after yourself as well as the person you’re caring for.  You can speak to your GP, and discuss what support you and the person you care for need.

In order for you to care the best way you can, you need to be in the best health you can be. Focus on your health and wellbeing and devise a plan for staying healthy. Eat well, socialise, stay connected, learn, protect yourself, sleep well and take time out for yourself.

Surround yourself with support

Even if you don’t feel you need any support right now, it’s still a great idea to learn where and when to access it if you need in the future.  Remember, you are the foundations for your loved ones wellbeing, so it’s important to stay strong and have support in place for yourself.

Dealing with guilt

A lot of carers will experience feelings of guilt at one time or another. This is normal, but you must remember, you are not a ‘rescuer’ and can’t fix all problems and be ‘the cure’. You’re doing the best you can and some things will be outside of your control.  Equally, some carers will from time to time, experience feelings of resentment towards their cared-for person.  Again, this is normal. However, if any of these feelings become overwhelming and increase in frequency and intensity, it’s time to talk it over. Services like IAPT are really useful.

Take a break from caring

Taking regular breaks can help you to look after yourself and better support you in caring for someone.

Breaks from 15 minutes to have a cup of tea and sit down to a couple of weeks so you can go on holiday are a must have and not a luxury. If you don’t take time to recharge your batteries you can’t keep giving to others. Not all respite is residential either. Some respite services are delivered in your own home or by way of Day Care. Explore all options before making decisions and try mixing it up – one day Day Care and one week every three months residential care for example.

If you’re struggling to cope

Carers often find it difficult to talk about the stress involved with caring. If you feel like you’re not managing, don’t feel guilty. There’s help and support available.  You may benefit from counselling or another talking therapy, which may be available online.  Talk to your GP or, if you prefer, you can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service.

Additional support

How can I get some additional support?

It can be difficult to know where to go to get additional help and support as a carer. This section includes a range of resources and accessible practical support to help you as a carer.

Benefits for carers

You might not think of yourself as a carer. But you probably are if you’re looking after someone regularly, including your spouse or a family member, because they’re ill or disabled.

As a carer, you may be entitled to one or more state benefits to help you with the costs.

  • Carer’s Allowance: The main state benefit for carers.
  • Carer’s credit: a National Insurance (NI) contribution to help make sure you don’t lose out on some social security benefits, such as the State Pension, because of gaps in your NI record. You look after someone for more than 20 hours a week and you don’t get Carer’s Allowance.
  • Carer’s Premium: An allowance you get on top of some benefits.

Assisted bin collection

If you have difficulty moving bins due to your age or a disability, you may be eligible for an assisted waste collection service.

To be eligible you must have:

  • a disability or frailty caused by illness or old age that restricts you putting your bin out
  • no other residents in the property who are able to put the bin out for you

When the agreement is in place, our crews will be collecting your waste containers from an agreed location on your property.  Call 01709 382121.

Meals on ‘Wheels’

Meal delivery services can help give carers piece of mind, knowing their loved one is getting a meal delivered every day.

Hot meal delivery service in Rotherham is via Park Care Meals, a Yorkshire based “Meals on Wheels” service that has been established since 1995.  Park Care Meals cover the whole of Yorkshire, including Rotherham – 01709 365 077

Wilshire Farm Foods provide national meal delivery service – meals are chilled/frozen and will need to be heated at home tel:0800 077 3100

Oakhouse Foods provide meal delivery – meals are frozen/chilled, so need to be heated at home. 0333 3706700

If the person you care for needs some extra help at home or need care cover whilst you are away or ill, the first step is getting an assessment from the Social Care Team at Rotherham Council. 01709 822 330.

The Social Care team can provide you and the person you care for, with an individual assessment of your needs and help put in place support to meet those needs.  This could be for things like washing and dressing, home aids and adaptations or in-home alerting systems like Rothercare, that help keep a loved one safe at home and will keep you informed of any emergencies.

The Social Care Team are also the ones who complete Carers’ Assessments.

A Carers’ Assessment is an assessment of your needs as someone looking after a loved one.  Carers have the same legal rights to an assessment that a person with care needs has.  A Carers’ Assessment is about looking at what you need as a carer, to keep on looking after your loved one whilst maintaining a life of your own and support you and your loved one during any changes in the care situation, for example if a carer can no longer care for their loved one.

Carers Emergency Scheme is run by Rotherham Council, is free of charge and designed to help you if you are faced with an emergency of your own and you are worried about what would happen to the person you look after. The Social Care Team will assist you in making arrangements for emergency cover for the period in which you are unable to care. To register for the Carers’ Emergency scheme please call 01709 822330

Assistive technology is a range of sensors and equipment which are used around the home to help assist you to live independently and as safely as possible. Some of these sensors and equipment are linked to the Rothercare Community Alarm System which is monitored 24 hours a day with a mobile response team who can visit you at home if you need assistance; for example if you have had a fall within the home.

If you live with someone we can provide you with a pager system which will alert your family member or carer that you need their assistance.

Assistive technology sensors can include sensors which will monitor personal and environmental risks such as; Falls, epileptic seizures, exiting the property at inappropriate times of the day, fire, gas leaks, carbon monoxide or even floods as a result of leaving the tap running.

Call 01709 822330 (Rotherham Social Care Team) for more information and to arrange supply of Assistive Technology.

If you require one of the following adaptions, please telephone the Rotherham Council Contact Centre on 01709 382121.

  • Key Safe
  • Half step
  • Grab rails
  • Internal hand rails
  • Lever taps

If you or someone you care for is having a mental health crisis, ring the Rotherham Crisis team on 0800 652 9571. This service is open to those experiencing a mental health crisis, including those affected by Dementia and young people known to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health team in Rotherham.

You can also call the Social Care Team on 01709 822330, who can provide support and information around dealing with a crisis.

I am concerned about someone else

Advice if worried about someone else

As a family member or friend you may want to support someone who is caring for someone else.  Some carers may be reluctant to ask for help and it is important to reassure them that they are not alone and that help and support is available.

  • Keep a journal of your concerns. This helps put things into perspective and can be useful to pass onto supportive professionals, like GP’s and Social Workers when trying to access assessments and support
  • Always be mindful of how the person having issues is feeling. Developing problems around physical abilities, mental health and memory can be very frightening and overwhelming. A gentle approach can be the most effective
  • Talk to your loved one about your concerns. Try not to point out what the person can’t do anymore or is doing “wrong”, but instead share that you’ve notice certain things are presenting more of a challenge but that there are things that can help. Focus on the things that help and the benefit it would bring to them personally
  • Keep trying but don’t harass. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to help your loved one accept some support.  Whilst it’s important to have conversations with your loved one about help and support, this must be at the right time and at pace. Having a conversation everyday with someone about the support they need, can easily be interpreted as ‘nagging’ and will push the person further away and can even damage communication and relationships
  • Know where to go to for help. Sometimes when our loved ones won’t accept any help or support, we need to access support ourselves to help manage this.  Getting in touch with Carers Support services can be of real value as the Carer Support Team can talk you through coping strategies and options and give you the information you need for dealing with and managing situations that can be challenging.
  • When you have concerns about someone’s welfare and feel that they are at risk of harm and/or neglect, there are things you can do and people you can go to.
    • Talk to your loved ones GP
    • Talk to Social Services
    • If someone is in immediate risk of harm, call emergency services – police/ambulance
    • Talk to others – there are some great helplines for organisations that can give impartial advice and guidance

There are many reasons why someone won’t accept any help or support or talk about any problems they may be having.  This is especially relevant in the world of mental health issues, including Dementia.

It’s important to understand some of the reasons why someone might not accept help or talk about issues:

  • Stigma -there is still a lot of discrimination and stigma associated with certain issues, especially mental health issues.  Even though they should not, some people may experience feelings of shame or embarrassment around a change in their mental health or memory.
  • Lack of understanding – a person experiencing any issues, particularly around the mental health and memory, might not be aware of the problems they are having. This can be because their difficulties have grown slowly over time and they have not noticed changes, or because they have lost a sense of true reality and genuinely are not aware of the issues.
  • Emotional barriers – it can be extremely difficult for someone who was once totally in control and fully independent, to then admit that they are now struggling and need help, with things like washing, dressing and shopping etc. Some people also experience feelings of guilt around accepting help and support. It can be very hard to get a loved one to understand that accepting help and support, helps maintain a person’s sense of dignity and pride, not diminish it.
  • They don’t want to be a ‘burden’- This is something people say so often. They “don’t won’t to be a burden”, “other people need it more” and “my family have got their own lives to lead”. This is also why, it is sometimes more comfortable for people to have support from outside sources, rather than family.
  • Financial concerns – there are some misconceptions held that all care in the home is extremely expensive. This is not always the case. The cost of care depends on what type of care and support is needed, where from and at what level.  It is always worthwhile having an assessment for care and support needs from the Social Care team, as they can also complete a financial assessment to see if any help and support could be funded by the council.
  • Conflicting opinions – it can happen where one family member feels the person is managing fine and doesn’t need help and another family member sees the opposite. In these situations, it’s important to stay calm and have open discussions where possible, sharing each person’s observations and thoughts and this must always include at the forefront, what the person with care needs wishes.

Local carers support services in Rotherham

Beacon South Yorkshire Carer Support (Beacon South Yorkshire provides a range of services supporting carers across South Yorkshire who are caring for people with disabilities, mental health, dementia, substance misuse, or who are elderly.

Services include: 1-1, training, complementary therapies, telephone support, drop-in sessions (Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.30am to 1.30pm), social events/respite, monthly coffee mornings and support and beauty therapies. Also Next Steps Programme for those who wish to move on into volunteering/further education/paid work to integrate back into their community.)

Address: 19 Doncaster Rd, Barnsley, S70 1TH

01226 814 012 /

Crossroads Care Rotherham – Supporting Carers
01709 464574

Crossroads Care Rotherham have many services available to support adult carers from all walks of life and circumstances.

Client Services (Cared for person)

  • Care to Adults with a Physical Disability
  • End of Life Care for Adults
  • Continuing Health Care
  • Care for Children with a Physical or Learning Disability
  • Care for Adults with a Learning Disability
  • Dementia Enabling and Support Service
  • Client Activity Group

Carer Services 

  • Respite Care for Carers
  • Carers’ Resilience Service
  • Carers’ Support & Activity Group
  • Carers’ Befriending Service – Home Visiting & Telephone
  • Complementary Therapies

The Carers Resilience Service is a short term intervention service for carers of people living with dementia, providing information, advice and practical support with the aim to build carers’ resilience. We work together with partners to enable the person with dementia to live at home for as long as possible.

  • A named Dementia Advisor
  • Assessment for current and future needs
  • Access to information, support and advice
  • Intensive support for carers for up to one month
  • Access to short term respite care at home delivered by Crossroads Care Rotherham
  • Signposting on to other services/agencies for longer term care & support

A great place to start with taking care of your mental health is the five ways to wellbeing which outlines 5 steps that are easy to incorporate into your everyday life and could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Kiveton Park Advice Centre offer support to carers and their loved ones around money, debt and housing issues. Can also provide some basic legal advice to those in need.  Call 01909 773966 

Making Space – Rotherham Dementia Carer Support
01709 910889

When a relative, friend or someone you directly care for is experiencing symptoms of dementia, it is good to know that neither you, nor they, have to be alone to meet the challenges ahead.

  • Dementia cafes
  • 1:1 support

Maples Cancer Care Centre Rotherham provide support to those caring for someone with cancer.

93 Badlsey Moor Lane



S65 2PS

01709 375 720

07939 483 779

01709 580543

Information, advice and support on all aspects of dementia.

The Parent Carers Forum can provide practical and emotional support, in person or over the phone: 01709 296262.

National support organisations

Acas gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. Acas can provide carers with free advice on their rights at work and how to apply for Flexible Working Arrangements from their employer.

Call the Helpline on 0300 123 1100

Caring for someone who is elderly. Age UK Advice line 0800 055 6112

0300 222 1122

Information and advice on all aspects of dementia. Open Monday to Wednesday 9am to 8pm, Thursday and Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Carers UK provide valuable support and advice on their website and via their helpline: 0800 808 7777 (free phone)

Citizens Advice provide valuable support and advice on their website.

0800 888 6678

Information and advice on all aspects of dementia. Helpline staffed by Admiral Nurses. Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5pm. Closed Bank Holidays.

Department for Works and Pensions – Support visits if you need help to claim benefits.

You may be able to get a home visit from a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officer to help you with your benefit claim.

You cannot book a visit yourself. Tell DWP you need help to claim benefits by calling the number of the benefit you’re applying for. If you’re eligible, they’ll arrange a support visit.  The DWP can also do this for visits to arrange and Appointee. Call  0345 604 3719   

The website has a section on Carers UK which provides advice and support for carers and the people they care for.  You can get advice on issues including:

Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Credit

Carers’ employment rights

Tax credits


Taking care of yourself as a Cancer Carer

Help for carers

If you’re a carer, you’ll find lots of information to help you on the NHS Website; support and benefits for carers and caring for children and young people.  You probably are a carer if you’re looking after someone regularly (including your spouse or a family member) because they’re ill or disabled.

Popular topics include:

Benefits for carers

Practical tips if you care for someone

Carer’s breaks and respite care

Help for young carers

The Carers Trust provide valuable support and advice on their website.

With the cost of living in the UK rising massively, lots of people are struggling. Luckily there’s help available – and it’s not just for those out of work. There’s support for those earning but still struggling, plus additional help if you’ve got children, caring responsibilities, or a long-term health condition.

Benefits Calculator: What am I entitled to – MoneySavingExpert

Support apps

Developed by Carers UK, Jointly is an innovative mobile and online app that is designed by carers for carers. Jointly makes caring easier, less stressful and more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message.


HealthUnlocked is the world’s largest social network for health. Find and connect with people with a similar health condition. The service has over 700 online communities focused on health and wellbeing topics.


The NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the app if you are aged 13 or over. You must be registered with an NHS GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man. You can also log in through the NHS website on a computer to use NHS App services.


Rotherhive is not responsible for content on websites or apps mentioned on the site. Always read the app’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy to see how your data may be used.

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