A Carer is someone who, unpaid, provides help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without that help due to frailty, long-term illness or disability.
Many carers do not see themselves as carers but primarily as a parent, child, wife, husband, partner, friend or neighbour. Many carers tend to be hidden in our communities and are not aware that help and support is available. Carers may live with the person they care for but many do not. Some carers will be balancing caring responsibilities with paid employment. Many give up paid employment to care. There is no such thing as a typical Carer. Caring roles have an impact not only on individual carers but also on whole family units.
NHS Forth Valley and the three local authorities and carers centres in Forth Valley have established a Carers Information Strategy, (pdf, 76k). The purpose of the strategy is to ensure that carers receive advice, information, support and training to assist them in carrying out their caring role, and also to ensure that staff are made aware of the needs of carers, and that carers are included, as approporiate, in decisions related to healthcare.
Young carers across Forth Valley could be given more information by health professionals about the person they are looking after. The new scheme, which will see Young Carers being issued with an authorisation card, is to be run as a pilot.
The aim of the project is to raise awareness of young carers and have their role as a young carer better recognised by health professionals. It is hoped the card will make it easier for young people to gain access to agreed information about the cared-for person.
The card is intended to help young carers understand the illness of the person they care for, become better involved in health issues and have permission from healthcare professionals to know about the type of treatment being undertaken.
The development of the Young Carers Authorisation Card is supported by the Scottish Government and follows a Young Carers Festival in 2010 where teenagers told Ministers and local politicians that, as their parent or sibling's main carer, they should be able to share appropriate information.
Young carers who would like a card should contact:
Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Young Carers Project: Tel 01324 611510 www.carersfalkirk.org.uk
Stirling Young Carers Service: Tel: 01786 447003 www.carers.org/local-service/stirling
Practical guidance and advice to family and unpaid carers who are involved in moving and handling family members or other people around the home.