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Support for adult carers

What support is available for adult carers in Tower Hamlets?

A range of support is available to carers. This includes:

  • information and advice
  • help with benefits
  • group and one-to-one support
  • activities and outings
  • retreats
  • help with stress
  • case work and advocacy support (help to “speak out”) 
  • training

These services are all free and available to carers with or without a Carer Needs Assessment.

If you think you need support and you're not sure where to start, contact the Carers Centre on 020 7790 1765 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri).  Rethink Mental Illness (0121 522 7007) is also a good starting point if you are caring for a loved one who has a mental health problem.

You should also take a look at what activities are happening in your local area, generally. The Idea Store Directory is a good place to start or check out the Community Catalogue.

There are several national organisations dedicated to helping carers too:

Take a break from caring

We know that having a break from caring can really help carers to cope.  There are  different ways in which carers can take a break:

Going to activities that are run for carers each week
There's lots going on, including relaxation activities and support groups. Activities are run by the Carers Centre, Alzheimer’s Society, Rethink and the London Buddhist Centre. These activities are free and are available to carers with or without a Carer Needs Assessment.  The Carers Centre is a good place to start to find out more.

Going away on a weekend retreat
The London Buddhist Centre runs free two-night retreats for carers at their facility in Suffolk.  Find out more at www.lbc.org.uk.

The person you care for could have a short stay at a respite centre
The council may be able to arrange or pay for the person you care for to stay at a respite centre for a short period. This will need to be agreed as part of a Carer Needs Assessment and the person you care for may be asked to pay towards some of the cost (in line with our social care Charging Policy).

The person you care for could get help at home
The council may be able to arrange or pay for the person you care for to get extra care at home so that you can take a break. This will need to be agreed as part of a Carer Needs Assessment and the person you care for may be asked to pay towards some of the cost (in line with our social care Charging Policy).

Direct payments for carers

A carers direct payment is a one off or ongoing payment for you to spend on a service or item that will help you to continue your caring role and to maintain your own health and wellbeing. These payments can be used to buy goods or services that help to improve your quality of life and support you in your caring role. This could include: funding towards taking a short break; driving lessons; counselling or money to buy a washing machine.

This will need to be agreed as part of a Carer Needs Assessment for carers who meet eligiblity criteria.

Do I have to pay for any support I get as a carer?

Any support we provide to you directly, is free. 

However, many of the Adult Social Care services available to the person you care for, are not free. They may be asked to make a financial contribution towards the cost if they can afford to. We'll carry out a financial assessment if you and the person you care for have agreed to receive one of the services which is charged for.

We usually charge for the following:

  • Temporary stays in residential care of up to eight weeks to give the main carer a break (respite care)

  • Home care

  • Day care

  • Transport

For more information about paying for your support, or the support of the person you care for, see the Paying for your care page.