A significant worry that carers had was what would happen to the person they cared for if they became unwell.
Planning ahead as a carer
For several years we have worked alongside Carers’ Hub Lambeth, who provide support for people who care for relatives or friends. Carers in Lambeth have told us how crucial it is that they themselves are given the opportunity to explore the options available to plan ahead for their own treatment and care.
Many carers have told us that because their lives are so focused on looking after someone else, they often forget to think about their own health needs and consider what might happen in the future if they become unwell. So today, to celebrate Carers Rights Day, we have launched a new Advance Statement, designed specifically with and for carers to use.
An advance statement is a record of your wishes, feelings, beliefs and values, which can be used if you later become unwell and need care or medical treatment. It gives those around you a clear idea of what you want if you can’t tell them.
Making sure the person you care for is ok if you’re unwell
In 2021 we published a blog alongside James Holdcroft from Carers Hub Lambeth, which described a number of things we learnt from speaking to carers about end-of-life planning. James described how the nature of caring meant finding the time to prioritise thinking about your own end-of-life can be difficult.
We worked with Carers Hub to deliver Advance Care Planning Awareness sessions with carers. These sessions started with an overview of what advance care planning is and why it is important and asked people what would be most important for someone to know if they were unwell and couldn’t communicate.
So, alongside giving carers an opportunity to explore what matters to them, one of the key additions to this carers advance statement is a section for the person to explain what should happen to the person they care for if they become unwell and unable to care for them.
We hope this new advance statement will provide an opportunity for carers to record information about the people they care for, as well as their own wishes. For people who are new to advance care planning the statement is a great way into thinking about the future and can be a helpful tool to start conversations with family and friends.
Carers can download, print and complete our carers advance statement for free on our website.
The template form gives suggestions of things you can include, you do not need to fill out every section if you do not want to. The form covers, things about your identity, the people you care for, information about how you would like to be cared for and information about your current health and how you manage any conditions or illnesses you have.
If you are interested in recording your wishes using this advance statement or if you have any questions please call us on 0800 999 2434.