Andy Jackson
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Carers Rights Day

Andy Jackson
Posted by
27 Nov 2014

Today is Carers Rights Day, an awareness based day organised by Carer UK  to help bring organisations across the UK together to help carers know more about their rights and how to get the help and support that they need. More than a third of those who took part in our recent patient survey are carers of blood cancer patients and we know that there are many more out there in need of support which is why we're backing the campaign.

Support and help is out there for carers in a number of areas from practical information and advice to financial support and local support groups however many carers are simply not aware that this support exists or where to find it. With this in mind, we've put together this blog to help make people more aware of the support that exists and how to access it:  

General Information

An excellent starting point is the Carers UK website which has outstanding general support and information on all aspects of caring for a patient from practical tips and advice on how to cope on a day to day basis right through to support services you can access to give you a break. 

Macmillan Cancer Support also provide great general information and advice on where to go and who to contact while Leukaemia Care has an entire section dedicated to carers of those affected by leukaemia. 

Financial support

Looking after a friend or family member can in some cases be a full time job and many carers are entitled to claim a Carer's Allowance. Carers who have had to take a lot of time out of work may also be eligible for Carer's Credit when they retire which can make up for any gaps in national insurance contributions caused by having to stop work to take on a full-time carers role. 

To apply for either of these benefits carers need to make an application to the Department for Work and Pensions. However,  the Citizen's Advice Bureau are there to assist in both completing the forms and finding out whether your eligible for any financial support in the first instance.

If you are interested in finding more information on the types of financial support that are available do take a read of Macmillan's financial support section as they explain some of the key benefits excellently. 

Support at work

Carers who are working either full or part time can find it very difficult to be able to juggle their time effectively and often don't realise that their are options which might make the situation more manageable such as flexible working and entitlement to time off cases of emergency. Again, Macmillan has an excellent section for carers at work which will help with a number of work related issues from knowing your legal rights to advice on what to say to colleagues while Carers UK Work & Careers section is also excellent.

Emotional Support/Advice 

Caring for someone can have a real impact both physically and emotionally. Macmillan run an excellent support helpline who can answer a lot of your queries and concerns and also run an excellent friends and family blog with all sorts of practical advice and case studies. We also have a number of blogs by parents and carers of blood cancer patients in our Patient Experiences section which are well worth a look.

When someone is diagnosed with blood cancer it affects the whole family not just the blood cancer patient themselves. The important thing to remember is that support is out there and whilst this doesn't go far enough changes are afoot. There are big legal changes in the Care Act 2014 coming in to force in April 2015, while we'll also be looking at what we can do as a charity to make things better for the friends and family of those affected by blood cancer. 

Read out our list of help and support services available to carers

Find out more about Carers UK and Carers Rights Day