If you’re new to caring and/or feel overwhelmed with the amount of things to know and do, here are five things you should know to help you get off to the right start.

1. Get a carers assessment

This is your chance to discuss what help you need so that you can maintain your health and balance your caring responsibilities with other areas of your life.

To refer yourself or someone else for a carers assessment call us on Carers Network on 0208 960 3033  or email info@carers-network.org.uk

2. Check whether you qualify for Carers Allowance

You may be eligible for Carers Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is receiving the higher or middle rate component of Disability Living Allowance.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview

3. Tell your GP

Let your GP know that you are a carer. You are able to receive regular health checks and advice on how to best take care of your health.

4. Request flexible working

You have the right to request flexible working from your employer. This can include part-time work, flexi-time, job sharing or home working.

5. Take a break

You may be entitled to respite from your local council. Respite means time out from caring whilst getting help to look after the person you care for.

You can use your Carers Personal Budget, which we can apply to the council for on your behalf after you have had a carers assessment, towards a break.

If you care for a young person the Westminster Society may be able to help you take a break. Please find out more information here