Making life better for Carers, how a Carers ID card can help
Dorset’s Carers, often relatives or friends of the cared for person, who provide care, are being encouraged to apply for a Carer Friendly ID card to access support and discounts to make life a little easier.
By registering, which takes just minutes, Carers, can show the card when they are out and about in their local community.
You are considered a Carer, if you are providing support to someone who could not manage without your help.
By presenting the card in shops, libraries, leisure centres, cafes and any other establishments displaying the Carer Friendly logo, the Carer knows they are stepping into a Carer friendly space.
Benefits include access to discounts on goods and services. The card also displays the carers ‘In Case of an Emergency’ (ICE) contact details should they become ill or need medical attention. This could happen when they are on their own or when they are with the person or people they care for.
Carers can also choose whether they have it as a physical card or as an app on a mobile. Carers who sign up will get a monthly newsletter telling them about new discounts. Updates are also available on the Carers Card Facebook.
Carers in the UK, provide a variety of care ranging from personal, physical and health care to financial, domestic, and emotional support. Carers will typically provide an additional 20 hours of care per week on top of their daily life commitments such as work, and the hours can vary according to circumstances.
Forward Carers Project Manager Rachel Close said “We are keen to raise awareness about the Dorset Carers Card and, at the same time we want to reach out to people who have not yet identified as a Carer. We need to encourage them to self-identify as a Carer, as we know many people still don’t do this even though they are providing hours of unpaid care in our communities. In addition to the card, Carers can also access support provided by Carer Support Dorset, this includes advice and information. Dorset Council also has an on-line support tool called Bridgit. Through Bridgit, Carers can get access to information, self-help tools, and get to know what local resources or support groups are available..
More than 140 new businesses across Dorset have already signed up since a new Carers ID card was launched a year ago. View the directory and sign up for businesses.
They include Gillingham, Beaminster and Bridport Museums, Swanage Foot Health Clinic, Robert Frith Opticians, Corfe Castle Model Village and many more.
Robert Frith’s Group Communications Manager Kate Brown said “We are already a dementia friendly business, and we are looking forward to the Carer Friendly training we receive as a part of this scheme. We hope other businesses will be inspired to do the same.”
Dorset Carers Case Worker Lynne White said “Our North Dorset Carers Group, that meets at Gillingham Library, really valued the visit from Forward Carers and the opportunity to understand the role the new Carers Card has in supporting them. It’s wonderful that local businesses can make their caring role easier to manage.”
Cllr Jane Somper, Portfolio lead for Housing, Adults and Public Health, said: I hope Carers will see this as an opportunity to help improve their quality of life as it is so important for them to stay healthy too. Many people don't realise that the support they provide falls under the legal definition of unpaid Care. This card is all about recognition, support and giving them the opportunity to improve their lives,”
The card, provided by Forward Carers is free to Carers by registering with Carer Support Dorset, or Bridgit online tools. If you already have a card which needs renewing contact Carer Support Dorset, or call 0800 368 8349.