Many people who look after family or friends do not think of themselves as carers and are unaware of the support available to them. Yet there are approximately 84,500 unpaid carers in West Sussex, with just under 17,000 people providing 50 or more hours of care per week. Caring for someone can have a significant impact on your everyday life, including your own health and wellbeing.
What do we mean by the word 'carer'?
If you are looking after a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your help, then you are a carer. A carer is anyone who has extra responsibilities because they are looking after or helping to look after someone who has a disability, illness, difficulty (such as an addiction) or who is elderly and frail.
Carers often have other tasks like:
- Continuing to go out to work or school
- Doing the shopping
- Looking after the home
- Looking after the rest of the family and so on.
Local support for carers
Carers Support West Sussex
Carers Support West Sussex is your local carers support organisation. The service can offer you someone to talk to, including telephone support, face to face individual support and carers support groups. The service provides free, confidential and impartial information, can talk to you about your caring situation and advise you about what support is available. They can provide advice on:
- Arranging short breaks, respite and holidays
- Carer training and activities
- Support for relatives of people in, or considering going in, to residential or nursing care
- Help with caring for specific conditions.
Call Carers Support West Sussex free on 0300 028 8888 or email email@example.com
If you are a carer in West Sussex you can now access free digital resources to help make your caring situation easier. More information about these resources provided by Carers UK, in collaboration with West Sussex County Council, can be found here.
Carers Health Team
The Carers Health Team provide advice and support for carers over the age of 18 living in West Sussex.
The service is delivered by trained health care professionals who aim to promote your health and wellbeing by working with you to develop strategies to reduce the strain of coping with your caring role. They provide information and advice on:
- specific health conditions
- practical advice on the caring environment, for example, safe lifting and handling, healthy eating, risk minimisation etc.
- emotional support
Visits take place in your own home at a time to suit your needs.
The contact details are:
North Carers Health Team
Phone: 01403 227000 ext 7613 / 7686
South Carers Health Team
Phone: 01243 623521
Fax: (01243) 623522
West Sussex Connect to Support website
The new West Sussex Connect to Support website is also a good source of local information and advice about the options available to you as a carer, including services and support.