Support for adult carers

Are you an adult carer?

An adult carer is 18 years or older. Each carer and the person they provide support for is an individual so the support that is provided will be unique to them. However, there are certain roles and tasks that many carers can and do provide, and these can typically include the following:

  • helping someone get up and dressed in the morning
  • supporting them to eat/drink
  • helping someone to have social opportunities
  • doing household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping
  • supporting with budgeting and money matters
  • supporting someone with letters, phone calls and emails
  • accompanying them to appointments
  • providing general company and companionship

Why might someone need the support of their carer?

There are lots of different circumstances that can lead to a person being supported by a carer, and these may include any one or more of the following:

  • dementia
  • frailty as a result of ageing
  • physical disability
  • learning disability
  • sensory impairment
  • acute episode of illness/disease
  • long term health condition
  • mental ill-health
  • alcohol or drug misuse
  • terminal health conditions such as cancer

Providing care and support for individuals with a range of complex health conditions can be challenging. Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances the level of input an individual requires, and the subsequent demands on the carer, can change frequently and dramatically. We recognise a change in circumstances can have a significant impact on the carer in respect of their own health and wellbeing.

Getting support

An Adult Carer Support Plan is an important way of identifying your needs as an unpaid carer. One of our Social Workers or one of the team from South Ayrshire Carers Centre will arrange a good time to meet you to have an informal discussion about your caring role.

The support plan gives you the opportunity to identify the following:

  • your thoughts and feelings about caring
  • your relationship with the cared for person
  • your social and leisure activities
  • your physical and mental health
  • your education and work life goals
  • what would make things easier for you to carry out your caring role
  • whether a short break is needed
  • what would happen in an emergency, if you were unable to care.

Following the Adult Carers Support Plan discussion, we will make a plan to help support you. We will also let you know whether your needs are “eligible” for support from South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. We use Local Eligibility Criteria to help us make this decision.

We will meet the needs of carers whose needs are Critical and Substantial. If you do not have needs that are Critical or Substantial, we will give you information and advice, including what local support is available. This could include, for example, help from South Ayrshire Carers Centre.

If at any time you feel that things you do to look after your relative or friend has changed or increased you can ask for a review of your Adult Carer Support Plan.

If you think an Adult Carer Support Plan could benefit you, please contact your local South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership office on 0300 123 0900. You can also contact South Ayrshire Carers Centre on 01292 263 000, who can discuss and complete an Adult Carer Support Plan with you.

South Ayrshire Carers Centre

South Ayrshire Carers Centre offers specialist information, support, advocacy and advice to unpaid carers and family carers. It also provides opportunity for carers to meet each other through carer support groups or social activities and outings. This wide range of services gives carers the chance to relax, chat with other carers and get professional support and advice.

The services it offers include:

  • assistance to complete an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement
  • benefit support – help with benefit checks and supporting carers to complete forms
  • emotional support – here to listen without judging and sign post to professional help
  • advocacy – be your voice with other agencies
  • peer support – through groups and social activities you will have the opportunity to meet and chat with other carers
  • training – on a range of topics and issues including practical skills and emotional wellbeing
  • health and beauty therapies –relaxation therapies to help carers deal with every day stress
  • care talk – a fortnightly phone call to carers who cannot make it into the centre
  • outreach – activities based in the local community facilitated by a highly trained staff team.

If you would like more information about South Ayrshire Carers Centre call 01292 263 000, pop into the centre at 43 Sandgate, Ayr, or visit their website or Facebook page.

South Ayrshire Life

South Ayrshire Life is a website packed with up-to-date information on what’s happening in communities throughout South Ayrshire. There is information on groups and activities including carers’ groups, walking football, knit and natter, sport, money advice and community transport.

South Ayrshire Life has a community information centre at 57 Newmarket Street, Ayr and a Freephone number 0800 432 0510. The doors are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. There are also regular drop-in sessions provided by occupational therapy and social work. A full list of drop-in sessions can be found on the South Ayrshire Life website and you do not need to make an appointment.

Other support available

In addition to the Carers Centre, many other organisations provide information and advice for carers who are supporting people with a range of specific conditions. Information on these organisations can be found on here.