Where to Start 2017-08-07T13:58:44+00:00

The Caring Journey – Where to Start

Are you looking after someone and need to know where to get help?

Anybody can find themselves looking after someone else at any time, for example when somebody is discharged from hospital, suddenly becomes ill or has an accident. This can come as a shock, but there is a range of information, services and support to help you practically and emotionally. Whether you have just become a carer, or have been caring for some time this handbook is full of useful information. There is even more information and support throughout this website – you can talk to us directly here or call Norfolk Carers’ Advice Line free on 0808 808 9876.

How caring can make us feel – carers’ stories

“When we first heard the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease we thought it was the end of the world.”

Jane cares for John 

Husband and wife stood together outside smiling

“Don’t delay in seeking medical help – I wish I’d spoken out at least a year before.”

Sue cares for Charlie who has dementia.

“I’m quite an assertive person, but I can find it difficult sometimes.”

Jenny cares for Rory who has autism and severe learning difficulties.

“I previously cared for my wife, now I support other carers.” 

Bob cared for his wife who had cancer.

“We’ve lost a lot of friends through it.  Everybody says “How’s Neil?…not “How’s Will?” and that hurts.”

Will cares for his partner who has Parkinson’s

“Take one day at a time and don’t expect too much from your loved one.”   

Sue cares for her husband who has mental health conditions.

“When the caring role ends, you need to be kind to yourself: get out and about and maybe even take up a new hobby.”

Marion cared for her mum who had dementia.

“I do get very tired at the end of the day “I don’t know how I fit my homework in. Where I can I will.”

James cares for his mum who has a range of health issues.

Services from Norfolk Carers 

Norfolk Carers advice line.
The Advice Line – free, independent and confidential information and advice. It’s the gateway to a range of services offered by Norfolk Carers and other agencies. 0808 808 9876 

Norfolk Carers Website You can get in touch with us here and sign up to receive regular news direct to your inbox.  We’ve also got a live chat facility so you can ask a question on-line.

 You will find the the live chat box on the right of your screen.

Individual Support – we can help with issues such as finance, housing, social care and health services, matters affecting your family and planning ahead.

Time for You Short Breaks The service is flexible and tailored to your needs, enabling you to, for example: attend an appointment or a social activity, go out with friends or just have a few hours rest. The person you care for will be looked after by an approved care support worker. The service is for carers aged 16 or over, caring for someone aged 18 or over, and for carers who don’t receive any other funded respite services from Social Care or the NHS.  This service is only available up to 30th September 2017.

Elderly couple talking.

Norfolk Carers Handbook  

Packed with information and useful contacts for all carers.  Includes a pull-out section for young carers and young adult carers.

Norfolk’s First Support Service helps people regain independence at home perhaps after a stay in hospital or a period of illness at home. Reablement Workers can support adults for up to 6 weeks, assisting them to become confident again in carrying out everyday tasks. If the person needs assistance for longer, Norfolk First Support will assist with onward referrals, advice and information. To find out more, talk to the staff on the hospital ward or call Norfolk County Council.

0344 800 8020


The British Red Cross helps people with practical tasks and to regain independence.

01603 288 320


The Royal Voluntary Service offers support for an older person going into hospital and coming home.
01603 397 998

The Starfish Team helps young people aged 5-18 years with complex developmental needs, and their families.

Norfolk County Council has a legal responsibility to assess your needs as a carer, if you think you need support to care for someone else. It also has a duty to consider how being a carer affects your wellbeing. This means you have a right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
  • protection from abuse and neglect
  • control over day-to-day life (including over your care and support)
  • work, education, training or recreation
  • social and economic wellbeing
  • family and personal relationships
  • suitable living accommodation
  • contribute to society

You don’t have to have a Carer’s Assessment and it is not about judging how well you look after the cared-for person. It gives you the opportunity to consider the things you want to achieve in your life. It covers important issues, such as: whether you work, or want to work, and whether you want to study or do more socially. It will also consider whether you are able, or willing, to provide, and continue to provide care. You can have an assessment separately, or together with the person you care for. If you have arranged to have a Carer’s Assessment, give yourself plenty of time to think about your role as a carer and note your thoughts down. You might consider:

  • whether you want to continue being a carer and if, you were prepared to continue, what changes would make your life easier
  • if there is any risk that you will not be able to continue as a carer without getting support
  • whether you have any physical or mental health problems, including stress or depression, which make your role as a carer more difficult
  • whether being a carer affects your relationships with other people, including family and friends
  • if you are in paid work, whether being a carer causes problems at your work (such as often being late)
  • if you would like more time to yourself so that you can have a rest or enjoy some leisure activity
  • whether you would like to do some training, voluntary work or paid work.

If you think that you might have difficulty taking part in the assessment, Norfolk County Council will make sure that a friend or family member can help and represent you. If you don’t have someone you can ask, and you have a lot of difficulty with being involved, the Council may find an independent advocate. After the assessment, the Council will decide whether you need support directly from them. To be eligible for support you need to be unable to do one or more things that have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on your wellbeing.

You may be eligible for support such as a Direct Payment to spend on the things that make caring easier, such as: one off items of household equipment or equipment for the cared-for person, leisure activities to reduce stress or practical support, like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break. If you are eligible for support from the Council, they will agree a Support Plan with you. Even if you aren’t eligible, they will provide you with information and may suggest you contact Norfolk Carers.

Norfolk Carers can put you in touch with local support groups, so that you have other carers to talk to. We can also help you to: find local grants and funding for caring, take a short break or to get individual support with the practical and emotional aspects of caring. Call us on 0808 808 9876. 


Carers Assessments:  NHS Choices Video

What Happens After a Carers Assessment NHS Choices Video

Carers’ experiences of a having a Carers Assessment: Skills for Care Video

Your Rights to a Carers Assessment:  Information about the Care Act from Carers UK

Carers have the right to a Carer’s Assessment. You also have the right to be consulted by health and social care services.
You have rights if you are working and caring for someone.

Carers Council for Norfolk
The independent user-led charity for all Carers in Norfolk where carers can have a real voice on services and support they receive.
To get involved, find out more or become a member:
07508 035 428

Your Voice
Have a say about local services.
0344 800 8020

Healthwatch Norfolk
An independent consumer voice for health and social care.
0808 168 9669

NHS and local government organisations have complaints procedures that start if you are unable to resolve the problem directly with the worker involved.

Patient Advice and Liaison Services for each of the different health services can act on behalf of patients and carers to: explain procedures,  give advice, support and resolve problems. Contact Norfolk Carers Advice Line – 0808 808 9876  or visit the NHS website.
www.nhs.uk (search for PALS)

Norfolk Carers Advice Line
0808 808 9876 

The Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints about the way cases have been handled and after the County Council’s
investigations have been completed.
0300 061 0614

An advocate can support you in finding out about your rights and help you to resolve issues.

PohWer is the NHS complaints service in Norfolk.
0300 456 2370
81025 (text pohwer plus your name and number)

Resources and other contacts:

The Care Act 2014 – Explains local authorities’ legal responsibilities and services of local authorities  

Citizens Advice Bureaux – Information and advice about discrimination and legal matters.


03444 111 444 

Gov.UK – Your rights at work   

Download our handbook

Download our handbook.