Are you a carer?
Unpaid carers can be anyone of any age or background, who provides regular and on-going care and emotional support to another person. You could be a family member, friend or neighbour. The care you provide is unpaid, although there are benefits and allowances that carers can claim.
Crossroads Caring for Carers is an affiliated member of the Carers Trust, who work to transform the lives of unpaid carers through collaboration, influence, evidence and innovation. The Carers Trust website has lots of useful information, including details on benefits, grants and discounts available to carers.
We provide a variety of services to support unpaid carers. Take a look at our Services section to find out more. Below you will find additional useful information to help you in your caring role.
CarerSmart is a Carers Trust club that is open to carers, people with care needs and staff and volunteers from across the Carers Trust network.
Joining is simple and free. And once you’re a member, you’ll be able to benefit from a wide range of offers, including:
- Cash back on shopping from numerous high street retailers
- Best rates from energy suppliers
- Reductions on insurance renewals
- Discounts on holidays and travel arrangements
- Reduced price lifestyle activities
- Free legal advice services
For more information, visit the Carers Trust website.
Crossroads Carers Card
Crossroads is an official partner of Carers Card UK, a nationally recognised ID card for unpaid carers. As well as helping you to prove that you are an unpaid carer, by registering, you will get access to exclusive national discounts and local perks in Sandwell.
Carers Emergency Card – Sandwell
The Carer’s Emergency Card can give a little extra peace of mind by making sure the best arrangements are made to support the person you’re caring for, just in case the unexpected happens.
Any carer can have a Carer’s Emergency Card if they regularly provide unpaid help and support for a relative, neighbour or friend who cannot manage on their own. They must be a Sandwell resident but the carer could be living outside the borough. Emergency Cards will be most valuable if the person cared for will be vulnerable on their own and they have no one else to support them.
Carers carry a card which tells emergency services they are a carer and someone depends on them. The card just shows your unique ID number and the phone number of our 24-hour contact centre, where carers’ details are held with information about the person cared for. In an emergency the centre will call the people the carer has told us can help. This will usually be family or friends, or the Council’s services if no one else is available. The scheme is free.
To register for a card and key fob complete the Carer’s Emergency Card registration form which can be found on Sandwell Council’s website.
Please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus for up-to-date information and advice to protect yourself and the person you care for.
The Government has produced some detailed guidance for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
We advise all family carers to create an emergency plan with the person they care for, to use in circumstances where help from other people to deliver care may be needed. Depending on the circumstances, this could be help from family or friends, or a care provider.
In order to create an emergency plan that fits the needs of the person you care for, you will need to set out:
- the name and address and any other contact details of the person you look after
- who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency
- details of any medication the person you look after is taking
- details of any ongoing treatment they need
- details of any medical appointments they need to keep
You should also ensure that it is in a format that can readily be shared with other people who will need to discuss the plan with the person you care for.
Together Matters has also written information to help family carers plan with others to get the support they need during the current crisis. The guide has information and ideas, including how to put practical measures in place. Download here.
If you are a family carer who is in receipt of Carers Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you contracted the virus – you are prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccination. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to have the vaccination or a booster. Please visit www.gov.uk for more information.
If you are unsure about getting vaccinated, take a look at this helpful COVID -19 vaccine information sheet from Sandwell MBC.
View Covid-19 vaccine Myth Buster.
Download Public Health England information video here.
View vaccine information in community languages here.
Government publication – Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends and family
You can also find information out about local services on the Carers Trust website.
If English is not your first language, here you can download coronavirus guidance translated into 46 different languages.
Useful information and advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment.
NHS Responder Volunteers
If you are over 70, an older person with an underlying health condition or are classed as vulnerable (follow link for full list of categories) and need extra support with things such as shopping, collection of prescriptions or just need someone to chat to, you may be able to access help from an NHS Responder Volunteer.
Useful information and support for unpaid carers living in Birmingham
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Birmingham City Council has reserved a stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for unpaid carers. It is available to carers who are finding it difficult to source and acquire PPE such as gloves, aprons and face masks, who meet the following criteria:
- Caring for someone in Birmingham
- Registered with Birmingham Carers Hub (Carer or Advisor will need Carers Hub PRN number)
- The cared-for lives in a different household in Birmingham to the carer
- ‘Personal Care’ is being provided – support with personal hygiene and toileting, along with dressing and maintaining personal appearance.
The PPE is available free if carers meet the above criteria and will be delivered by post. When applying online the Carer will need their PRN number on their Carers Card or alternatively our Hub Team can apply on their behalf. Apply here or call Birmingham Carers Hub on 0333 006 9711 (low call rate).