What help is available for carers?
Getting an assessment of support needs
Arrangements for assessing, providing and making support payments vary across the UK. Read information for each area below.
“Get informed and keep asking” - Ann's experience
Ann has been caring for her husband Peter, who has COPD, for many years, but she’s only recently begun to think of herself as a carer. She has found support and information invaluable, particularly since being diagnosed with a long-term lung condition herself just last year.
“When you become a carer, it’s important to face facts and talk to the person you’re looking after about what you are actually going to do to help them. You also need to get informed about their condition and treatment.
Don’t be frightened of asking for help. I’ve pestered health care professionals and I don’t accept poor service.
We have a support group for people affected by breathing problems locally. It’s so helpful to be able to talk to someone face to face who knows what you’re going through and can give you advice and reassurance.
I also recommend going along with the person you care for to activities like pulmonary rehabilitation, so you know what’s involved and can empathise.
Now, we care for each other really. We both use oxygen and we’ve recently gone to a pulmonary rehabilitation course together. It’s great that we can motivate each other to keep exercising. I enjoy my keep fit class on Friday mornings too.
It’s important to stay positive and put in the effort together to get results.”