Practical Support

There are a lot of schemes to help you and your family. We’ve picked out a few here that crop up time and again for carers.

Practical Support

The Bedfordshire & Luton Directory: Adult Care and Support Services provides full details of organisations providing paid care. You can get a paper copy from Bedford Borough Council (01234 267 422) or Central Bedfordshire Council (0300 300 8303) or the Carers in Bedfordshire office.

Care Choices has written a Home Care Checklist with a list of questions you can ask when considering which company to use.

Using respite Care

Age UK Bedfordshire runs a fee-based Carers Respite Service.  You can pay for it yourself or apply for a Needs/Carers Assessment.

There are a number of Good Neighbour Schemes throughout the county who offer a sitting service by a volunteer. Ring Carers in Bedfordshire (0300 111 1919) for details.

For those who have a life-limiting condition, a sitting service is organised by Hospice at Home & Respite at Home Volunteers.

Paying for care

This can either be done privately or through the local councils.  If you need support with costs then you need to contact the local councils for a Getting a Carers and Needs Assessment.

Legal & General offer carers a free consultation to help you find and pay for care – visit the Legal & General website or contact 0800 086 9071 for further information.

Age UK gives a number of ideas on how to adapt a home.  The local councils can help with any major adaptations that might be needed (subject to eligibility).  See Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council.  Age UK Bedfordshire offers a handyperson service  to help with small DIY jobs.

It might be a good idea to put up a key safe outside the front door in case the person you care for cannot come to the front door.  Age UK Bedfordshire supply and fit key safes (there is a cost). Contact on 01234 360 510.

If you are worried about home security, then contact the Bobby Scheme on 01234 842 619. They will carry out a home visit and make recommendations on how to improve the security of a home.

If you are concerned about a person’s safety in the home you might find that Telecare will provide peace of mind. 

Check out our financial support page which details: 

  • Carer benefits 
  • Help with utility payments and council tax
  • Broadband and telephone costs
  • Free Boiler Scheme, Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation
  • Energy Saving Advice
  • Age UK Free Home Energy Check
  • Carers in Bedfordshire Help and Support

What you would do if you cannot continue caring due to an accident or ill-health? It’s worth taking some time out to give this some thought and give you peace of mind.

To help we have created an Emergency Plan booklet for you to fill in. If you would like some help, you can talk to a Support Worker.

You can also

  1. Keep an ICE record on your phone stating that you are a carer and the name and address of the person you care for. To read more.
  2. Keep a Carers Emergency Card in your purse/wallet – available from Central Bedfordshire Council
  3. Keep a Message in the Bottle in your fridge (available from Carers in Bedfordshire or Central Bedfordshire Council)

If  your surgery knows you are a carer, they can help you. It’s a great idea to register as a carer with your GP.

If your doctor knows you are a carer, they can ask you about any physical or mental health issues you may have because of caring. And the practice can try to be more flexible in terms of finding you appointments, etc.

If your doctor and surgery know you are a carer they can:

  • support you with any physical health issues related to your caring role, like tiredness
  • make you aware of the carer’s flu jab each year
  • talk to you about your mental health and the impact of your caring role
  • provide you with general information and advice
  • refer you to helpful organisations and services that can improve your caring situation
  • give you flexible appointments at times that suit you
  • refer you for a Carer’s grant payment if your caring role is impacting your health, potentially meaning you can take a break.