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Information and advice for carers



These pages contain a wide range of information that may be useful to you, in your role as a carer.

They include details of organisations that can offer some much needed advice and support as well as services that are available to you both through the council and other routes.

They cover practical things such as training to help you with the person you care for or places to find equipment which would make your caring role easier. They offer things that you may never have thought of such as access to employment and education for yourself, which you may want to pursue but feel you are unable to, due to your caring responsibilities.

There are options to give you some peace of mind should you need to take time away from the person you care for. They also offer information about and access to some opportunities or activities that you may enjoy if you had time to yourself.

You can find specific items by typing what you are looking for into the search function on the home page or simply explore the Carer's pages to see what is available. You can also find out what to expect from a carers assessment and how to complete one online.

Whether you need some urgent help and assistance, want some particular advice or information or just want to know what is out there, you will be able to find all that you are looking for in one place.

Am I a carer?

"A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, mental ill health or a substance misuse problem." (Carers UK)

A carer may assist someone with one or more of the following duties.

  • Emotional support such as listening and talking
  • Household chores such as cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing or shopping
  • Medical care such as helping with medicine dosages or delivery
  • Personal care such as feeding, getting to the toilet, washing and dressing
  • Physical care ensuring the person can move around their home

Do any of the following statements sound familiar?

  • I have a disabled child, sibling or family member aged 18 or over, whom I help in some capacity.
  • I visit someone in need regularly; they couldn't cope without that interaction from me.
  • I take my neighbour to medical appointments; I often go in with them and help explain what the doctor has said.
  • I do the housework for my elderly parent once a week because they are too frail to manage on their own.
  • I take meals to my friend daily so I know they're getting a balanced diet; they have a mental illness and can't manage to cook.
  • My parent suffers from anxiety and depression, which often leaves them in a state of panic.  I am there for them whenever they need me, listening and discussing their worries about each day.

If you recognise yourself in a situation similar to any of those above, with any relative, friend or neighbour, you may be a carer.


From April 2015 you will be entitled to a Carer's Assessment where you appear to have needs. The Care Act makes carer's assessments more widely available to people in caring roles.  Local authorities now have a legal duty to assess any carer who requests one or who appears to need support. 

The assessment helps to work out what support you need in your caring situation, to do this we need to find out:

  • the help needed by the person you care for;
  • the help you are giving;
  • the support you need for your life outside of caring (such as work, education, family life ,social life, your own health and wellbeing)

This is called an assessment.

What is involved?

The assessment will consider the impact the care and support you provide is having on your own wellbeing, as well as important aspects of the rest of your life, including the things you want to achieve day to day. It must also consider other important issues, such as whether you are able or willing to carry on caring, whether you work or want to work, and whether you want to study. Also it will take into account issues you face around social activities because of caring. Sometimes the person you care for will not want to be assessed for their needs. However you can ask for a carer's assessment in your own right to help you with your daily life and help you carry on.  A carer's assessment is your legal right to an assessment of your needs. It is your chance to discuss what help you need in caring for someone.

Completing an assessment

The carer's assessment questionnaire is available to complete online, the completed forms are received by Hillingdon Carers who will review your responses and make contact to discuss your circumstances.  During this discussion you will receive information and advice and where appropriate details of services and support to meet your needs.  If you want to discuss your needs in person your follow up discussion can take place in Hillingdon Carers office in Uxbridge. Please note that this carer's assessment questionnaire is only for adults aged 18 and over who are caring for another adult(s) aged 18 or over. If you are caring for a child aged under 18, please click here for information and advice.

You can start your assessment here.

If you are unable to complete the questionnaire online please contact Hillingdon Carers directly to make an appointment for an assessment. 01895 811206.


What is respite?

If you are caring for someone, you may find it difficult to get time for yourself. Respite is the term used to provide short-term, replacement care and support for the person that you care for, so that you can take a break from your caring role.

What respite services are available?

The Council has worked with the voluntary sector and private organisations to develop a range of services for you to use. The support they can offer to you and the person you care for include:

  • a few hours of support in your own home;
  • social clubs and groups;
  • drop-in centres;
  • holiday clubs;
  • activities within the community; and
  • short-term residential care.

Read more about the opportunities available in the Marketplace.

How do I access respite services?

If the person you care for has a needs assessment, your contribution as a carer should be considered. There will be an allocation made to the personal budget for replacement/respite care.

The cared for person may choose to make this provision available to the carer through a direct payment, which can be spent on replacement care via the Marketplace.

If you have a Combined or a Carers' assessment, respite support options will be discussed with you as part of the discussion.

If the person you care for does not receive any direct support from the council (for example, if they are funding their own care and support), you may be able to obtain support from Carers Trust Hillingdon (Crossroads) directly.

Local support and services

Caring for someone can take its toll on your own mental and physical health. If possible, try to take time out from caring to do things for yourself. Perhaps someone else could take over from you regularly or temporarily, a support group of other carers would help or some short-term residential care for the person you look after could give you a break? You can find what support services are available in your area in the Local groups, products and services section.

The Local Authority work closely with a number of partner organisations to provide information, advice and support to carers.

The organisations and links to their websites are listed on the right hand side of this page to find out more.

The five main organisations providing information, advice and support to carers in the borough have now joined together to form Hillingdon Carers Partnership. 

For information, advice and support, you can contact any of these organisations. However, if they are unable to meet your needs please contact Hillingdon Social Care Direct to request a carers assessment.

The Health Innovation Network and the Carers Trust have worked with carers on Time To Think About You, a health and well-being prompt card to encourage unpaid carers to be more aware of their own health, and the support available to them at their local GP and carers' centres. For more information click here.

If you are caring for a child aged under 18, you can find information and advice here.

Free Carer's Flu Jab

If you are an unpaid carer, let your pharmacist or GP know as you may be eligible for a free flu jab. If you are a carer, it is important to have a flu jab not only for yourself but for the person you care for. If you caught the flu it would be difficult, if not impossible for you to look after anyone, which could be distressing and even dangerous in some cases.

Flu often strikes without warning and could leave you with little or no time to make alternative arrangements. A flu jab reduces the risk of you passing the virus on to the person you care for, who could become seriously ill as a result. Find out about your free flu jab now!


What training is available to help me in my caring role?

The type of training you will need will depend on the needs and condition of the person you care for.

If you are a new carer ask your GP or practice nurse if there is any health training available that could help you as well as the social care support that may be suitable.

There are a number of social care training courses available through the voluntary sector which include:

If you would like specific training to assist you in your caring role but can't find a suitable programme speak to Hillingdon Carers.

If you are caring for someone with Dementia, read more about how Dementia Friends could help you.

Working and Learning

The demands of caring can often lead carers to give up or reduce their work hours. It can also limit their opportunities to study.

There are a number of schemes which can help carers stay in work or return to work. These include flexible working arrangements and financial support for some.

Please see the links below for more information about combining work and study with your caring responsibilities.

If you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could get Carer's Credit which is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. Click here for more information.


What is it?

TeleCareLine is a monitoring and alert system that can help support people to live independently in their own homes, by providing users, their carers, family and friends reassurances that help is available in an emergency 24 hours a day.

How does it work?

TeleCareLine works through the telephone system, linking alarms, sensors and equipment in your home to an adviser in the control centre. A wide range of problems can be detected by this type of equipment for example a gas leak or fire, or if the person you look after has a problem and needs assistance. Either you as the individuals carer or a monitoring centre can then be alerted to the problem.

What are the benefits for carers?

The purpose of telecare is not to replace you as the carer, but to allow you to leave the house, or get a good night’s sleep, confident that you will be informed if an emergency occurs. Carers have reported these benefits from telecare support:

  • Less stress and worry – peace of mind about the person you are looking after.
  • A greater sense of freedom knowing that you would be alerted should there be a problem with the person you are looking after.
  • Better sleep and more opportunities to relax and pursue your own interests and hobbies.

Read more about the service available for all Hillingdon residents.

This service is free:

  • to residents who are aged 75 and over
  • to residents currently receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax reduction (this does not include single occupancy discount)
  • for up to six weeks, as part of the reablement package

The service is also available to other residents who are not eligible for a free service. The weekly cost ranges from £1.13 to £12.00, depending on the level of service required. Read more about the different service levels and how to apply.

Last reviewed: 19/06/2019
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While every care has been taken in the compilation of the information on this website, neither Hillingdon Council or PCG Care Solutions will be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of using the site and any inaccuracies/errors within these pages.

If you choose to purchase services via the Marketplace, you are advised to refer to the Buyers Guide prior to making a purchase, as well as making your own enquiries and seeking independent advice. This is applicable to Adult services only, as there is no Marketplace for Children's services.