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Carers Rights Day – your rights today, tomorrow and in the future

23 November 2023

Carers Rights Day is on Thursday 23 November 2023 and is a time to highlight the rights of unpaid carers and help raise awareness of how they can get the support they are entitled to.

This year’s theme is ‘Your rights: today, tomorrow and in the future’. 

One in eight of us will become unpaid carers at some point in our lives, which means we will look after a loved one who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without our support. These responsibilities affect people of all ages and backgrounds. 

For many, the term ‘carer’ still carries stigma. A lot of parents, family members and partners don’t view their responsibilities as ‘caring’, but simply part of being family. 

However, caring for a loved one can be emotionally and physically challenging, and it’s important to look after yourself. This is crucial to making sure that your own health and wellbeing remain supported as you provide a range of support for your dependent. In Richmond upon Thames, there is a vast amount of local support available to help. 

Your rights as a carer 

This year, Carers Rights Day will focus on raising awareness of the rights that unpaid carers have. Unpaid carers are entitled to certain rights that may help with access to services, looking after health and wellbeing and vital information. 

Whether you are new to caring or have been looking after a loved one for a while, it’s a big priority for us to ensure you know what support you’re entitled to access and exactly how to do that. 

Find out more about Your Rights: today, tomorrow and in the future.

Carer’s assessment 

As a first step, we strongly encourage all carers to take a free carer's assessment, to help you think about the things that are working well for you, and to help you identify areas that can be improved. 

As a carer, you are entitled to an assessment of your needs, separate from the person you care for. You do not need to be living with the person you care for to receive an assessment. This is simply a chat with us to help us understand the impact that your caring role is having on your life and how we can best support you. You may be able to get help and advice with financial concerns, your own health, practical help in the home and any worries about the future. 

Young carer support 

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps to look after someone at home who needs extra support or care. There are many supportive resources and networks available to young people who find themselves helping to look after or worrying about someone at home who needs additional support. 

The 2023/2024 Richmond Voluntary Fund selected three charities, Crossroads Care, Richmond Carers Centre and River Thames Boat Project, who all provide support for young carers. 

Watch Ryan’s story on what it’s like to be a young carer and the support he receives from Crossroads Care.

Getting help in an emergency

If you look after someone who cannot look after themselves without your support, you may be worried about what would happen if you were suddenly unable to help them. The Carer's Emergency Card Scheme provides peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, the person you care for will receive help and support while you're not there. 

Your health and wellbeing

If you let your GP know you are a carer, they can provide you with support to ensure you take care of your own health. This might be by offering flexible appointments and longer consultation slots for carers or, with permission, referring carers to Richmond Carers Centre and signposting them to other helpful local networks

If you are the main carer, make sure you and your loved one are protected this winter by having the free flu vaccine and COVID-19 seasonal vaccine

Self-care while caring is also an extremely important but often neglected part of a carer’s routine. In this video, former carer, author and Richmond resident Sara Challice shares her five key tips for looking after yourself while looking after a loved one. 

Additional support for carers 

Let us help you find some respite by viewing the full range of resources and options available to you on our website. 

Richmond Carer’s Centre’s latest service update provides a flavour of activities and workshops offered to carers, as well as links and news articles offered by local service providers. 

Richmond Carer’s Centre has also shared a range of stories from local carers, and how they have benefitted from accessing local support available. 

Have a read of their stories here: 

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Up to: November 2023

Updated: 23 November 2023

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