Help is on offer to unpaid carers from Fishponds charity

February 03 2020
Help is on offer to unpaid carers from Fishponds charity

A COUPLE from Fishponds are backing a campaign highlighting the vital role played by carers.

Elmas Davis looks after his terminally ill wife Joan and initially found his role as carer tough going.

But now, with help and advice from Fishponds-based Carers Support Centre, he feels much better equipped to deal with the daily challenged the role brings.

The charity is sharing the couple's story in the hope that they can help other carers so they don't feel isolated and without support.

Elmas was initially visited by Jan Mussi from the Carers Support Centre, which is based at the Vassall Centre in Gill Avenue, Fishponds.

She found Joan was bedbound and declining fast while Elmas was under a huge amount of stress.

After helping Elmas complete a carer's assessment, Jan realised his wife wasn’t claiming her entitlement to benefit. She helped him complete the paperwork and the couple were subsequently awarded the highest rate of Attendance Allowance, a government benefit for people over 65 who have care needs.

Before Elmas’s assessment, they received a daily visit from home care to help Joan wash and dress, giving Elmas the chance to do a weekly shop.

It didn't, however, give him any time for himself and he even had to cancel his own health appointment because he didn’t have anyone to sit with his wife.

Following his assessment, Elmas was awarded a one-off payment to pay for a sitting service. Then his niece offered to come and stay for three months to help take care of Joan. 

Jan contacted the council on his behalf and they agreed the payment could be used to pay for travel. Elmas’s niece is now staying with them and caring for Joan. 

Elmas said: “I am so happy how things have worked out. I have more help and it has made such a difference. I lost weight with all the stress and now I am putting weight back on. Joan has benefited as well because she is getting such good care from my niece.”

The Carers Support Centre is now reaching out to other people who care for a loved one. The charity says every carer has a right to a carer's assessment where they can discuss the impact caring has on their own life.

An assessment also often leads to a small one-off payment that will give carers the chance to take a short break or do something for their own wellbeing, the centre said.

If you care for an adult who has a support package from Bristol City Council, you can call the Integrated Carers Team at the council on 0117 352 1668. If the person you care for does not receive support services from the council, or if you are a parent carer or a young carer, Carers Support Centre (0117 965 2200) can provide advice and guidance.