New to caring
Becoming a carer affects all of us in different ways. Whether we felt we had a choice about it or were thrown into it because of circumstances, there is no doubt that caring can be difficult at times. There is not usually any prior training so most people muddle through as best they can, learning as they go along. Although it can be rewarding caring can also feel frustrating and stressful.
VOCAL provides one-to-one and groupwork support on a range of issues including changing relationships, dealing with guilt, loss and bereavement and stress management. For more information visit the emotional support section.
Depending on your caring situation there is a range of information, practical support and advice that you may need. There are also health, social care and education systems which you may need to understand and navigate through.
Getting support from health and social care
As soon as you begin caring tell your GP that you are a carer. Carers in Scotland are eligible for seasonal flu vaccination, your GP can advise of the flu clinic times. For more information see Immunisation Scotland website.
As a carer you are entitled to a carer's assessment, and you many need to arrange for a community care assessment for the person you care for. You may also want to find out about direct payments, care at home services, short breaks (respite) support and other health and social care services. Some of these services may depend on the age or health condition of the person you care for.
Financial help and benefits
Taking on caring responsibilties can often lead to a change in your financial situation. It is important to find out about the benefits that you and the person you care for are entitled to.
Other financial support options, including discounts, funding and concessions may also be available. Contact VOCAL's Carer Support Team on 0131 622 6666 to find out more information.
One in five of all carers have given up work to care and for those with caring responsibilities of more than 50 hours each week, more than half have given up employment to care. Read more about support and legislation in the employment section.
VOCAL offers employment coaching and training courses for carers who are working or seeking employment. Check VOCAL's training courses or contact 0131 622 6666.
VOCAL provides advice, support and information to carers in all caring situations and relationships, contact 0131 622 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org