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New roles in Leeds: Carer Support Workers

The number of people living with lifelong disabilities and long-term health conditions is increasing, and there has been a shift to providing care for people in their own homes and communities instead of hospitals and care homes. Although this is a good thing for the people being cared for, it is important to recognise the hard work and pressure that carers face when caring for their families and friends at home. 

Carers Leeds works with carers in complex caring situations by providing information, advice, and support. These carers are often isolated and unaware of the supports available to them. Carers Leeds employ Carer Support Workers to support the most vulnerable carers, providing support and reassurance that their needs as a carer are as important as those that they care for.

Meet Tom, who has been a Carer Support Worker for over a year at Carers Leeds. In his role, he works closely with Neighbourhood Teams (teams of health and care staff working in the community) and GP Practices. Working in partnership, Tom and the Neighbourhood Teams are able to identify a carer’s needs at an early stage in order to provide support and prevent carer strain or breakdown.

Tom, Carer Support Worker

Tom, Carer Support Worker

An example of the positive work being done by Tom and Carers Leeds is the support of an elderly man with Parkinson’s. He is the primary carer for his wife, who has complex medical needs. He was struggling to cope with the demands of coordinating his wife’s care, while dealing with his own medical conditions. Tom was able to help by providing a space to talk and to process the chaos. He also provided practical support by helping the carer reapply for his blue badge and for Attendance Allowance for his wife. Support is ongoing via telephone and home visits when required.

Along with providing emotional and practical support, Tom is able to signpost carers to community groups and services in their area, such as Neighbourhood Networks (voluntary organisations in neighbourhoods in Leeds), Additionally, Tom can refer the carer for a more formal assessment by the Carers Assessment Team at Carers Leeds, or Leeds City Council Adult Social Care for respite care if needed.

Carers Leeds also offers wellbeing sessions and support groups to carers.For more information on Carer Support Workers, contact Carers Leeds via email on info@carersleeds.org.uk or telephone on 0113 246 833.