When you are caring for someone with a specific condition e.g. stroke, dementia, depression it can help if you learn about the condition. This will help you understand how the condition impacts the person you care for and how to spot signs of deterioration. It will also help you to communicate easier with health professionals as you will become familiar with the language they use.
Today, most conditions have a website explaining the symptoms and how to cope with them. For a comprehensive list see Bedford Hospital. Most national organisations websites will have a section specifically for carers and even an online forum where you can share advice and information as well as a listening ear, essential for any carer.
As it is not possible to cover all the conditions so the focus in this section is on conditions with organisations who are based in Bedfordshire.
Caring for a child with autism, the following organisations are providing support.
Autism Bedfordshire throughout Bedfordshire
The Avenue, Biggleswade
Outside In (autism & adhd), Clifton
Faces Spectrum Support - provides emotional support for families
For adults living with autism
MacMillan Cancer Support is the main cancer charity working in Bedfordshire. They produce “I'm looking after someone with cancer” and “Guide for Young People looking after someone with cancer."
They run a Cancer Information & Support Service at the Primrose Oncology Unit at Bedford Hospital.
MacMillan runs a Welfare Rights Service for people diagnosed with cancer, including family and carers. They aim to help prevent financial hardship and help with claiming benefits and grants. This is available to all residents living in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire.
There are a number of local cancer support groups which are either open to carers or have separate carers group.
Bosom Pals Bedford – Partner group
Beds Prostrate – open to all
Leighton-Linslade Cancer support group – open to all
If you, the person you care for, or someone in your immediate family has ever served in the military (including the Reserves) then you might be able to access a number of services for military or ex-military personnel.
If you are accessing any services make them aware that you have a military background and/or family connection as this can influence which organisations are recommended to you.
Organisations supporting military families or veterans
0808 802 1212
Royal British Legion
0808 802 8080
0800 731 4880
0800 389 7979