Are you helping to look after and support a loved one who is an adult.
You might be supporting and helping to maintain a person’s independence. This may be your husband/wife, mum/dad, or even a neighbour or friend. You might be helping to support their memory, support them emotionally, or help with day-to-day tasks like washing, dressing, cooking and cleaning. Whatever form this takes it can begin to put a strain on your relationship, as well as being a strain on you physically and emotionally.
The physical strains of supporting a loved one could be due to taking on more of the household jobs. Also, you might be more involved in washing and dressing your loved one. You might be learning new skills such as dealing with the household finances and how to prepare a meal.
You might be having to adjust to a number of losses, such as a loss of the person your loved one was, the loss of the roles they used to take in your life, the loss of the future that the two of you had planned together, and the loss of your independence. This can understandably lead to feelings of stress, worry, low mood, guilt, and, at times, resentment for the person you are supporting.
If you are feeling like this then it can often be difficult to ask for help. the following pages aim to given more information about where you can get help and support.
Here are two short films with carers, who talk about their experiences of looking after a loved one with dementia. Please click on the links below.
Support for adult carers
A number of organisations are commissioned to provide carers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. For further information about the organisations responsible for providing this support can be found at here.
If the cared for person is known to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust Services, speak to the clinician who is responsible for their care. They are able to provide a range of support for carers including:
- Ensuring your details as the carer of the cared for person are recorded in their electronic patient record.
- Listening to your concerns about the cared for person.
- Information about the cared for persons diagnosis and how to best support them.
- Condition specific organisations.
- Referrals for carers assessments.
Self-referral service for informal carers
CPFT's Psychological Wellbeing team has launched a new self-referral service. Carers can self-refer online here or by telephoning 0300 300 0055. Alternatively, they can discuss a referral with their GP. The team offers short-term, evidence-based psychological treatment for common mental health difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, low mood and depression. All the treatments on offer are recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Organisations responsible for supporting carers
- Alzheimer's Society - United Against Dementia (alzheimers.org.uk) provides support for people caring for people with dementia.
- Caring Together provide information and support for all carers. Click here for copies of their carers magazine. A copy of their referral form can be found here Caring-Together-Referral-Form.docx [docx] 81KB.
- Rethink Carer Support Cambridgeshire and Peterborough group provides support for carers, friends and families who are supporting loved ones affected by mental illness. Please contact 07783 267013 or e-mail CambridgeRethinkGroup@rethink.org for further information.
- Rethink mental illness is a national charity providing support for people caring for loved ones with a mental illness
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust Adult Eating Disorders service runs a support group for carers of adults with an eating disorder. Further information can be found here.
- BEAT is the UK's leading charity supporting anybody affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulima, EDNOS or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape.
- Making Space support carers who provide practical help and /or emotional support to a friend, relative or partner living with a mental health condition and who is under 65. A copy of their referral for can be found here Making-Space-Referral-Form.docx [docx] 78KB
- Carers Trust give carers a voice and highlight their work to the public. The campaign and work with politicians and decision makers to create real change for unpaid carers throughout the UK.
- Carers UK provide a helpful guide for carers. The guide is for anyone caring for family or friends. Outlining carers’ rights, it gives an overview of the practical and financial support available.
Other useful websites
Useful websites to support carers of people with Learning Disabilities
British Institute of Learning Disabilities
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
Royal College of Psychiatrists' section on learning disabilities
Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership
Peterborough Learning Disability Partnership
The Care Act 2014 acknowledges that carers need to be better supported to continue in their caring role. Local councils and health organisations are now required to promote the wellbeing of all carers, ensure that information, advice and support is available, and to prevent, reduce or delay unpaid carers reaching a crisis point.
The Care Act 2014 legally entitles all adult carers to a carers assessment if they would like one. For further information on carers assessment click hereThe person you care for does not need to be in receipt of services for you to have an assessment of your own needs as a carer. You are also able to request a review of your needs at any time should your circumstances change.
How to request a carer's assessment
If you would like a carer's assessment and the cared for person is accessing services at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust please contact their clinician and ask to be referred for a carers assessment. Alternatively, if the cared for person is not known to CPFT services you can contact the county councils directly.
How to self referr
Peterborough the e-mail address is
firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone number is 01733 747 474 option 4.
- Referral form link Adult Services contact form - What information are you looking for? - Self (achieveservice.com)
- Tick "looking after somebody"
- If you are a professional referring somebody click Yes for Are you completing the form on behalf of somebody.
- If you are self referring click No for Are you completing the form on behalf of somebody.
Cambridgeshire the e-mail address is email@example.com and the phone number 0345 045 5202.
- Referral form link Adult Services contact form - What information are you looking for? - Contact details - Section 1 - Self (achieveservice.com)
- Tick "looking after somebody"
- If you are a professional referring somebody click yes for "Are you completing the form on behalf of somebody".
- If you are self referring click No for "Are you completing the form on behalf of somebody".
You may wish to involve the person you care for in the discussions about what would help. However this should be your choice and you can ask that your assessment is completed separately. It may help to think about the things that matter to you ahead of your assessment by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- If I can achieve this, what difference would it make to my life?
- What support do I have in place already?
You can request a review of your needs at any time should your circumstances change.
Training and Support
The aim of this page is to highlight training resources and support for people who are informal carers. The information is based on recommendations from the organisations and individuals that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation NHS Trust works with to increase awareness of the needs of carers. As more courses are established we will add them to this webpage.
FutureLearn offer a wide range of different courses on a variety of different topics.
Caring for people with Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Caring for adults with an eating disorder
Information about caring for someone with an eating disorder page can be found at : https://www.keep-your-head.com/adults/MH/eating-disorders/caring-for-someone-with-an-eating-disorder
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust Adult Eating Disorders service runs a support group for carers of adults with an eating disorder. Further information can be found here.
Support for people who are carers for people with dementia
The Cambridgeshire Alzheimers Society provides:
- Enhanced support for carers with health problems, facing crisis, or caring for someone with delirium – in this service we offer intense support to help carers to cope in difficult situations. We will call every day if needed, make referrals, suggest strategies that might help and provide a listening ear. To refer anyone to this service please call 01223 620962 or email us on Cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org.uk
- Virtual peer support groups for carers and people with Dementia. Throughout this winter/covid period we have a specialist groups for carers with health issues, a general carers group, a group of young onset patients and carers, and a group for people with dementia. Our aim is to reduce isolation during this period. To refer to the groups please email us on Cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org.uk or call 01223 620962
As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support.