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A carer is someone who provides support to family or friends who could find it difficult or unable to manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. All the care they give is unpaid.

A carer could be a spouse, partner, parent, sibling, child, friend, or any other relation. Anybody from any background and of any age can be a carer and each carer's experience is unique to their own circumstances.

Just as the reasons why someone becomes a carer vary greatly, the variety of tasks that a carer takes on can be broad. They can include practical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing up, ironing, paying bills, financial management and engaging appropriate services; personal care such as bathing, dressing, lifting, administering medication, and collecting prescriptions; and emotional support such as listening, advocacy, problem solving, motivating and companionship.

Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of challenges and rewards, each carer's experience will be different. Many carers go unidentified until many years into their caring role and a number of carers are unaware that help is available to them.

If you look after anyone because of illness or disability who needs support and would be unable to manage without this help then you are a carer and by law you can access services to support you in your caring role.

Services for Carers in Sunderland are provided by Sunderland Carers Centre.  Information on the support available and how to access it can be found through Sunderland Carers Centre.

Carers Assessment

A carer's assessment is your opportunity to discuss how being a carer affects your life. You can discuss any changes you might like to make and how you can be supported to achieve these.

A carer's assessment is not an assessment of your capabilities as a carer, though importantly, you will be asked if you are willing and able to continue to provide care. The assessment could be face to face, between you and an assessor, a supported self-assessment online or it might be a phone assessment.

What will the carer's assessment cover?

The carer's assessment will look at the care and support you provide, as well as providing information and advice to support you in your caring role. The assessment will also look at anyone else who may be affected by the caring role. This will include identifying any young carers and assessing what support may be available to them.

If the person you look after is also being assessed, you can be assessed at the same time, provided you both agree to this.

What happens after the carer's assessment?

We will give you a copy of your assessment and a support plan. This will provide details of the outcomes you have identified and how they are going to be met.

This could include giving you a personal budget if you meet the eligibility criteria.

You can complete the Carer's self assessment form and send the completed form to Sunderland Carers Centre, Thompson Park, Thompson Road, Sunderland, SR5 1SF or contact them by email at or call 0191 549 3768.

Carers Strategy

We have recently reviewed our Carers Strategy for the next five years. This strategy details how the council and its partners deliver against their commitment to improving the lives of all carers. It will inform other strategies and ensure that meeting the needs of carers is embedded in all services across the council, its partners, and those services it commissions externally. The strategy will be underpinned by an action plan of how we will work across the city to improve identification and support to carers over the next five years.

Caring responsibilities look different for each carer and that is why our strategy is for all carers in Sunderland.

This strategy has been shaped by the voice and experience of carers and the organisations which support carers to ensure that the priorities for the future are based upon what is important.

Carers Strategy

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