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Support for Carers

The Support for Carers Service, provided through Optalis in partnership with the Royal Borough and NHS Frimley, supports carers to continue with their important caring role. Carers Social Care Practitioner, Dulsey Tapera is based within the Optalis First Contact Team and explains more about the service.

What is your role?

As a Carers Social Care Practitioner, my role is to identify, facilitate services, and provide support to carers through offering and carrying out assessments and reviews as well as making referrals to relevant services and support groups. I work collaboratively with other partners to meet the needs of carers. All unpaid carers are entitled to an assessment.

One of the aims of this role is to ensure that there is regular contact with carers. I have created a carers register and the plan is to engage both registered and unregistered carers and to get feedback from them on the support they need and on how much contact they would want from social services. Their feedback will be used to determine how we can improve service delivery.

What challenges do carers face and how can you help them?

Some carers do not identify themselves as carers and may not be aware that they can be supported through Optalis to continue with their caring role. Carers often struggle to get a break as they spend a lot of time on care-giving duties, leading to isolation, emotional and physical stress, sleep deprivation, financial strain, and other challenges. We can assess and support them directly, or signpost them to other services.

What support is available for carers?

Support given can be in the form of a Timeout Card, Carers Direct Payment, referral to a service within the local authority or signposting to a community support group, depending on the outcome of the assessment. For example, young carers are assessed and supported through Family Action, dementia carers are referred to the Dementia Care Advisors and Alzheimer’s Dementia Support. We also have Community Support Workers based in the Mental Health Team who provide support to mental health carers.

The direct payment given to carers can be spent on things that make their caring role easier. They may also be eligible for a Timeout Card which gives access to a leisure centre in order for them to have a break from caring and to care for their own wellbeing. Respite makes a huge difference to the carer and to the person cared for. Other services available for carers through the council include parking permits and companion bus passes – see the council’s website for more details.

I’m a carer in the Royal Borough – how can I access support?

You can contact our team for advice and guidance through our Carers Self-Assessment Form.

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