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Many do not recognise themselves as carers.They are parents, grandparents, children, partners, friends or neighbours doing what needs to be done to maintain a quality of life for those they are looking after. Sunderland Carers Centre is here to help you. Whether you are caring for young children, parents, grandparents, extended family members or friends, by adopting a “whole family” approach. Each member of a family will experience different caring roles and Sunderland Carers aim is to identify and support every need.
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of our patients during their hospital stay and in planning their discharge.By implementing best practice, they want to promote the health and independence of carers. This is achieved though working closely with you as your knowledge and experience of caring for your loved one or patient is absolutely invaluable. It is because of this that they look to involve carers in all aspects of patient care, including offering flexible visiting hours so you can help with meal times, or getting washed and dressed. How we achieve this:
- Early Identification and recognition of carers of all ages
- Identifying and recognising your commitment as carers
- Ensuring you are aware that you have certain rights as a carer, including the right to a carer’s assessment
- Allowing you to make choices about your caring role
- Actively seeking patients’ permission to share information with carers
- Involving you in patients’ discharge planning and offering relevant support
- Monitoring your experience and satisfaction through surveys and carer organisation feedback
- Identifying and supporting patients with a caring responsibility
- Keeping you informed of patient condition
- Ensuring information is shared with you to facilitate a safe admission and discharge
- Sign post you to external support agencies such as Local Carers Centres
- Carers who are patients themselves may have a special need for both a longer convalescence and more respite care for the person they look after. They may need additional support on discharge, as well as to be directed to sources of support.
Sunderland Carers Centre provide support for people who look after others. That doesn’t mean professional carers. They offer support to those who care for their husband, wife, mam, dad, son, daughter, sibling, friend or other relative. Providing information, advice and guidance to carers in and around Sunderland – and it’s all confidential, non-judgemental and impartial. The Carers Centre is a “centrepoint” for carers in the city, assisting directly when and where they can and linking people with other organisations when more appropriate, to ensure every user gets the support they require.
Carers can often worry about what would happen in an emergency, if they had to go into hospital or are called away to care for another family member in crisis. A good way to do this is to draft your own Emergency Plan. A Carer's Emergency Plan(CEP) is a document containing vital information about what the carer does for the person they look after. The plan should ensure that vital help and support for the cared for person continues to be provided. If carers face an emergency they need to know that replacement care will get sorted out speedily and efficiently. For many, this may simply involve contacting a family member, friend or neighbour who is willing to cover in an emergency If the person you care for has a Care and Support Plan, or if you have your own Carers Support Plan these should include a contingency. Speak to your Social Worker, Assessment and Review officer or the Carers Centre for more information. As well as having your own Carer's Emergency Plan you can also request a Carer's Emergency Card. This is a credit card sized card that you can carry in your purse or wallet. It will identify you as a carer and holds a number to be contacted on your behalf in case of emergency. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough. Carers Leeds feel it is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need. Carers Leeds we have listened to Carers and one of the things they have asked for is a Carers Emergency card. As part of celebrating Carers week they are promoting their new Carers Emergency Card which allows you to register with Carers Leeds and receive the card or request a card if you are already registered with us.
Community Equipment Services supplies and fits equipment and minor adaptations to help children and adults with disabilities to live safely and independently at home. The service is a jointly funded partnership between Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group. Equipment is free of charge and provided on a long-term loan basis following an assessment from a nurse, Occupational Therapist, or Physiotherapist. If you want advice about buying your own equipment, the service can put you in touch with an Occupational Therapist who can help. The service repairs, services, maintains and replaces equipment. The professional who assesses your needs will tell you when your equipment is being delivered. When they deliver your equipment, they will show you how to use it safely. When you no longer need your equipment, you can bring it back to them or they can come and collect it from you.
Sunderland Carers Centre runs groups to give carers the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation. These groups include:
- Carers Coffee Mornings: The Sunderland Carers Centre kitchen is available any time for carers to make themselves a coffee and a chat.
- Carers on the Move: enjoy the sights of Sunderland on foot while making friends and getting fit with a weekly walking group for carers, friends and family. Led by a trained walker on Thursday mornings.
- Crafty Cuppa Class: An informal course of craft-based activities, a regular get together for people of all abilities to learn some new skills, have a cuppa and just switch off for a while.
- In Touch Group: Monthly meeting for carers of adults with learning disabilities.
- Parent Carer Transition Group: Monthly group that is open to all Parent Carers caring for a young person aged 14 - 25.
- Partners Group: For couples where one partner has a physical disability or long-term illness.