- Carer Referral Form
- For Professionals
- Claire's Experience - Family Support Officer
- Nicola's Experience - District Nurse
Carers Link - Linking in with Social Work, Local Organisations and Businesses
In East Dunbartonshire, one person in eight is a carer, and in our lifetime three out of five of us will have experience of caring.
We are very happy to give talks or presentations to local organisations, community groups or businesses wishing to provide their staff with access to a better understanding about how a caring role can affect their family, friends, neighbours and colleagues – and what they can do to be supportive.
When someone has a caring role it can be difficult to access services or to find people to talk to about what the daily reality of caring means for them. This is where Carers Link can help.
Advantages of Referring to Carers Link
Very often, if a carer has access to support they will be able to continue caring for longer. Not every carer comes forward for support, or even realises that it is available – many just continue on until a crisis occurs and then ask for help. While not everyone needs continual support with caring we have found that the earlier people come forward for information about all the different types of help available, the better prepared they feel to keep going.
Carers Link is the local organisation dedicated to supporting all carers in East Dunbartonshire aged 16 and over. We offer an invaluable empathetic approach to carer issues, with almost all staff members, volunteers and board members having caring experiences of their own.
There may be times when a carer – or the person they care for – is resistant to accepting some services through Social Work. Carers Link staff have experience of mediating between the carer and Social Work to ensure that best outcomes are achieved and potential risks minimised. This type of support can be particularly helpful when the person being cared for has lost capacity and has granted Power of Attorney to the carer.
Through our ‘Carers Call’ telephone support service, trained volunteers keep in regular touch with carers. As well as providing essential support to those carers this also enables Carers Link to monitor individual caring situations over the long term. This can be particularly crucial in identifying possible risk to either the carer or the person they are looking after, thus affording the chance for early intervention and consequently preventing a crisis situation from arising.
Enquiries and referrals are welcome from members of the public and all partner organisations, whether statutory, health or voluntary sector. Ideally, anyone with a caring role who becomes known to Social Work should be made aware of Carers Link support and given information about their right to a Carers Assessment.
We operate a daily duty system where the allocated duty worker will take details of any potential case over the telephone or by email. Anyone referring in should have a note of the personal details of the carer and as much information as possible about them and about their caring situation. However, a minimum of name, address and contact telephone number is fine at first contact should this be all that is available. Information about any known health and safety concerns, access needs or communication issues would also be appreciated.
Referrers should obtain verbal consent from the carer for a referral being made to Carers Link. Since the referral is around support for the carer specifically, it is not necessary for the person being cared for or anyone else to give their consent or to be made aware of the referral.
After someone has been referred to Carers Link, one of our Support & Advocacy team will give them a call to find out how they are doing, gather information about their caring role and identify any risk factors. We operate a traffic light system, prioritising urgency and response to cases where risk is identified. From there, cases are prioritised in accordance to the needs of the carer and their ability to cope with their current situation. Should the carer or the person they are looking after be vulnerable and identified as being at risk from harm, immediate action is taken in accordance with the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 or the Child Protection in Scotland Act 2010. We will respond to any case where urgent carer support is required within 24 hours.
EPiC (Equal Partners in Care)
EPiC is a joint project between NES and SSSC to implement the workforce education and learning elements of the Carers Strategy 2010-15. It aims to support workers from health, social services and other sectors to work in partnership with carers and young carers and to achieve better outcomes for all involved in the caring relationship. This is done by providing a range of learning resources to help best practice become universal practice.
For more information about EPiC please click on the link below:
Claire Wadsworth (Family Support Officer)
-- Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs --
Why did you first contact Carers Link?
I contacted Carers Link when I first joined Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD) as a Family Support Development Officer two years ago. I wanted to find out about different services in the area and also to let them know about our organisation in the hope of promoting cross-referring.
In your own words what do you think about your experience of referring carers to Carers Link? Can you provide specific examples of how Carers Link has helped your service users?
Emma from Carers Link kindly came and spoke to the group I run in Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch and more recently, Judith spoke to the ladies who attend our new Milngavie group. Many hadn’t considered themselves to be Carers and felt they were just doing what any mum, dad or partner would do but having listened to them, I know that their loved ones addiction can affect every area of their lives. Many have had to give up jobs or rely on anti-depressants because of the stress and commitment that loving someone with an addiction can bring.
It’s alien for them to have someone concerned about their needs and asking how they can be supported. It’s part of our role at Scottish Families to give people the tools and confidence to communicate more effectively with their loved one, hopefully reducing friction in the household. The groups help to remove some of the stigma surrounding alcohol and drug misuse by showing people they are not alone. However it makes my job much easier to know that when family members feel ready, I can refer them to Carers Link for extra support .
Some of the ladies have benefited enormously from Reiki or massage sessions , while others prefer the more practical option of help to improve their IT skills. One lady, whose son has Asperger’s, found the Information Afternoon about Autism, very insightful and wished she had found Carers Link years ago. The one thing they all have in common is that they have thoroughly enjoyed their involvement with Carer’s Link.
Now when new people come to one of our groups and I start to tell them about Carer’s Link, one of the other members always jumps in to speak about their positive experience which is a far more powerful recommendation than I could ever give.
Would you recommend Carers Link to other professionals?
Anytime I have emailed with a referral, I always know that Carers Link workers will contact that person within a few days. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Carers Link to other professionals as nothing is ever too much trouble (and I know I can be pretty troublesome!)
Why did you first contact Carers Link?
As a District Nurse in East Dunbartonshire I often come into contact with carers who are looking after a family member or a friend. Although I can offer assistance with some of the issues Carerslink can provide the link between all the local support agencies in the area.
In your own words what do you think about your experience of referring carers to Carers Link? Can you provide us with specific examples of how Carers Link has helped people you have referred?
I have always found the service and staff exceptionally helpful.
Here is an example of the support they provided.
Whilst delivering care to a lady who has a long term illness her husband mentioned he was struggling and became very emotional. He explained that he had been a carer for his wife for over ten years and had being feeling as if he couldn’t cope. He hadn’t shown any signs of this before as he was always chatty and cheerful.
After chatting for a while it became apparent that the main causing of distress to them both was that they were no longer able to enjoy their favourite past time which was a run out in the car. His wife’s mobility had deteriorated and as he had a sore back it made it difficult for him to assist his wife into the wheelchair. He was no longer able to attend his bowling event once a week as he felt guilty about leaving his wife alone and he was also concerned about leaving her for any period of time. This was having an emotional impact on them both.
I referred to Carers Link a support agency in East Dunbartonshire a member of the team visited and following an informal chat were able to make suggestions of the support available to them. They recommended a back care course to teach techniques to prevent back injuries that can occur when moving someone. A community alarm was set up to relieve anxiety about leaving his wife, he was able to go back to his bowling as a befriender visited once a week for a chat over a cup of tea.
Would you recommend Carers Link to other professionals?
Carers Link is a fantastic resource of professionals and I always feel confident referring into the service as I know they will do everything possible to support carers in East Dunbartonshire.