Are you supporting or caring for someone in Tayside?

Information for carers and families

A carer is a person of any age who looks after family, partners or friends in need of help, because they are ill, frail, have a disability or mental health issues and need support to live independently.

Being a carer can be very rewarding and fulfilling but sometimes when you are looking after someone, you may find that your life changes in all sorts of ways. You may find the person you care for needs more and more of your time, and this may affect your ability either to fulfill work commitments or to maintain relationships with your friends. It might also mean that you have to learn new skills such as cooking or dealing with finances. You may feel that, bit by bit, you are losing control over your life because you are always being needed by someone else. You may also have feelings of isolation and guilt.

You can become a carer at any time, for example, after someone has been discharged from hospital. Many people take on the role of carer in a gradual way and do not realise that the help they give to someone they care about means that they are a carer. You may not like the title carer, but it does give you certain rights, so it is worth thinking about quite seriously.

What help is there to assist you to care or to continue caring?

Help may be available to:

  • help the person you are looking after;
  • provide you with information and advice on how to cope with the illness or disability of the person you are looking after;
  • provide emotional and practical support for you.

What are your rights?

The most important right that you have as a carer is to be listened to and to have your views taken into account.  This means:
  • you should be asked if you are able and willing to provide some or all of the care that is needed.
  • you should be consulted about the services that could be provided for the person you care for.
  • if you are providing a lot of care, then you may well need help and support, so that 'caring' doesn't take over your life and cause you ill health.

In such cases, you are entitled to have a discussion with someone from your local council or health services about what help would be useful to you.  This is called an assessment of your support needs.

In law, you have a right to an assessment of your support needs to help you to continue caring.

This assessment is the duty of the local council in association with the local health authority; however it may be given over to another agency, for example, your local Carers Centre. You have the right to telephone the council number for your area or for the area the person you care for lives in and ask for an assessment of your support needs because you are a carer.
 
Across Tayside the local councils have different names for their ‘Social Work Departments’. Throughout this information we will call them council services.
 
Angus
(Social Work and Health)
Telephone: 0845 277 7778
 
Dundee
(Social Work Department)
Telephone: 01382 434019
 
Perth and Kinross
(Housing and Community Care)
Telephone: 0845 301 1120

Useful contacts

Angus Carers Centre
8 Grant Road
Arbroath
DD11 1AP
Telephone: 01241 439157
Email: enquiries@anguscarers.org.uk
Website: www.anguscarers.org.uk

Dundee Carers Centre
Seagate House
132-134 Seagate
Dundee
DD1 2HB Telephone: 01382 200422
Fax: 01382 227990
Email: centre@dundeecarerscentre.org.uk
Website: www.dundeecarerscentre.org.uk

PKAVS Carers Hub
The Gateway Centre
North Methven Street
Perth
PH1 5PP
Telephone: 01738 567076
Email: raymond.jamieson@pkavs.org.uk
Website: www.pkavscarershub.org.uk

Fife Carers Centre
136 Commercial Street
Kirkcaldy
KY1 2NU
Telephone: 01592 642999
Email: centre@fifecarers.co.uk

Support for young carers

Are there children or young people in your family who are helping you because you have a long-term illness or a disability, or are helping you to care for someone else in the family?

They could be providing personal care or physical care including domestic tasks, looking after brothers or sisters or paying household bills. They might also be providing emotional support to you or the person you care for by, for example, spending time listening to problems instead of time with friends.

If the answer is ‘yes’ then they may well be what we call ‘young carers’. You (and they) might not like this title but it gives them rights. In particular they have a right to an assessment of their support needs by their local council. They can also get help and support from the Young Carers Project in their area.

Useful contacts

Angus Young Carers Project
Angus Carers Centre
3 Fisheracre
Arbroath
DD11 1LE
Telephone: 01241 439157
Fax: 01241 876903
Email:  enquiries@anguscarers.org.uk
Website:  www.angusyoungcarers.org.uk
 
Dundee Young Carers Project
Seagate House
132-134 Seagate, Dundee DD1 2HB
Telephone: 01382 200422   Fax: 01382 227990
Email:  enquiries@youngcarers.co.uk
Website: www.youngcarers.co.uk
 
PKAVS Carers Hub Young Carers
The Gateway Centre
North Methven Street
Perth
PH1 5PP
Telephone: 01738 567076  
Email:  raymond.jamieson@pkavs.org.uk
Website: www.pkavscarershub.org.uk

Fife Young Carers
Ore Valley Business Centre
93 Main Street
Lochgelly
Fife
KY5 9AF
Telephone: 01592 786717 ext. 115 or ext. 116
Email: admin@fifeyoungcarers.co.uk
Web: www.fifeyoungcarers.co.uk
 
Carers Trust – YCNet
Young carers can also find information at the national young carers website.
This website also includes information about the young carers projects in your area.
Website: www.youngcarers.net