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A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support. Anyone can become a carer; they come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Carers are extremely important to the NHS, however, too often they do not receive the recognition and support they need and deserve.
The role of a carer is very diverse and can encompass a multitude of activities including, helping people to the toilet, helping with washing, dressing or moving around the home. The carers role can also include shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundering of clothes, assisting with medication, managing money and taking people to attend appointments.
Our commitment to supporting and improving the experience of carers has led to the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation trust signing up to the acute hospitals carers charter and we continue to strive towards improving carer experience. Here is a link to our carers charter.
These boards can be found across the hospital. The carer information boards have a wealth of information on them and contain variety of information signposting people to local carer support agencies including the Alzheimer’s society and TuVida (previously Berkshire Carers Hub).
Your feedback is important to us so that we can continue to make improvements in how we support carers. Please complete a carers survey - click here.
If you have any queries or question as a carer then please contact Karen O'Leary (Patient Experience Liaison Nurse) - firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the UK's only national membership charity for carers, Carers UK is both a supportive community and a movement for change. For the past 50 years they have been driven by carers raising their voices together to call for change and seek recognition and support.
Looking after someone can be a rewarding experience but it can also be lonely and bewildering. At these times, you need people around you who really understand caring.
Unpaid carers in Reading, can use their Listening Support Service. The service involves trained volunteers calling unpaid carers to let them talk to someone who understands the challenges of caring.
When illness or disability strike, a lot of people can feel the impact. Suddenly it can seem as though life is on lockdown — whether it's you being cared for, or you're providing care to somebody else. TuVida's aim is to help unlock doors; opening up the world again so that you can re-connect with others and make choices that enrich your life.
TuVida know that there is no 'one one-size-fits-all' formula for effective care and support. It's their aim to offer the best, most appropriate care and support to people who need it.
If you provide necessary unpaid care or support to an adult family member, friend or partner, you may be eligible for support.
Adult carers that look after someone who lives within West Berkshire can request a carer's assessment.
You are a carer if you look after a partner, family member or friend who is dependent on you for care and/or support because they are older and frail, disabled, have a long term illness or they need help with everyday tasks because of a significant mental health problem and/or a problem with drugs or alcohol.
Age UK have been in Berkshire over 50 years and provide a wide range of services specifically to support people in later life.
Age UK have also set up an excellent website called Dementia Friendly. It was created to provide information and signposting in one central place to support all people across West Berkshire affected by dementia and the carers of those people.
People from other areas can access it too for information and signposting.