Are you looking after someone?

View the listing of categories on this page to find organisations that offer practical and emotional support for carers along with advice and information.

Many people do not think of themselves as carers.  Recognising yourself as a carer is the very first step to getting the support you may be eligible for.

Seeing yourself as a carer is a way of acknowledging that it can be both difficult and demanding.  Caring can easily become a full time responsibility.

Unlike a paid job, being a carer does not include breaks or holidays, but this doesn’t mean you need them less or are any less entitled to them. 

As a carer your life may be taken over by your caring responsibilities and put a strain on relationships.  It is important to share some of the care as dedicated caring (maybe for up to 24 hrs a day) causes a build up of stress and anxiety for the person doing the caring. It may be difficult to cope with your job, or other members of your family, or to see friends because you are a carer. Caring is tough work and we so easily forget about our own wellbeing.

Carers must recognise that they have needs as well as the person they care for.

Contact Adult Social Care on 01635 503050 or complete the online enquiry form.

Young Carers

Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide unpaid care to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.  The tasks and level of caring undertaken by young carers can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole.

If you are a young carer and would like some help contact the West Berkshire Young Carers Project team for a friendly chat on 01635 503400 or email:

What help can I get?

If you provide necessary unpaid support to an adult who could not manage without it, you have the right to have your own needs assessment, even if the person you care for has refused support services or an assessment of their own needs.

Adult carers that look after someone who lives within West Berkshire can request a carer's assessment by:

If you need help with completing your carers assessment please contact the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub on 0118 324 7333 or Adult Social Care on 01635 503050 and we will give you some advice on how to fill it out. Alternatively use our online Adult Social Care Enquiry form to request information and advice for yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

What is an assessment?

A carer's assessment involves a discussion between the carer and a care worker from the Council's Adult Social Care Locality team. You have the right to have your own assessment, even if the person you care for has refused support services or an assessment of their own needs.  A carer's assessment is not the same as a needs assessment, which evaluates your cared for’s needs.

The assessment is not about how good you are at caring.  It assesses how much support you need and the effect of your caring role on your health, wellbeing, work and family life.  Be realistic about what your relative's needs are.  The Carers 'Understanding your Needs' Information Gathering Form [595kb], provides a range of questions / prompts that may help you consider your caring role.  This may help you prepare for the assessment by thinking through the areas you are struggling with which will help the Council ensure you are given the right advice, information and support.

Under the Care Act 2014, which came into force in April 2015, local authorities have a legal duty to assess any carer who requests an assessment or appears to need support. 

What happens following an assessment?

The Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2014 set out a national eligibility criteria for adults needing care and support, and for carers needing support. 

Full details of what we look at when we carry out an assessment, and how we make a decision, are listed in the regulations. 

If you are eligible for support from West Berkshire Council your needs could be met by a range of options, including paid services and services provided by other organisations.  If you are not eligible we will give you information and advice on where you can get the help you want.

Following a Carers Assessment, if you are eligible for a service the Carers support plan will be sent confirming the outcome of the assessment and how needs will be met via a Carers one off payment or an ongoing direct payment (known as a personal budget). 

Support from other organisations

West Berkshire Council grant-funds voluntary organisations to provide specific support and services to carers. Visit West Berkshire Council's 'Carers Support Services'  webpage for further information.


Does your GP know you are a carer?

Let your GP know that you are a carer and ask if this could be registered on your medical record.  Carers are at a much higher risk of becoming ill themselves and your GP can recognise the effects caring can have on your health, such as depression, stress, high blood pressure or back pain. 

Responding to an emergency

Having an emergency plan - information available on Carers UK website

Caarers UK advise all carers to create an emergency plan - for you and the person you look after. Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for the person you look asfter at any point in the future.

In order to create an emergency plan that fits your needs, you will need to consider:

  • Details of the name and address and any other contact details of the person you look after.

  • Who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency – this might include friends, family or professionals.

  • Details of any medication the person you look after is taking.

  • Details of any ongoing treatment they need.

Emergency response and monitoring (Telecare) 

You can find many types of 'telecare' equipment that can monitor someone around the home e.g. wearable alarm buttons; sensors to detect falls; smoke and flood detectors in the personal alarms/telecare listing under the 'Need help at home?' section.

Message in a bottle

You keep your essential personal and medical details (or those of the person you care for) where they can easily be found in an emergency - the fridge. Anyone can use the bottle to store personal and medical information about themselves which could be needed in an emergency such as:

· Personal details
· Next of kin or relatives to contact
· Allergies and regular medications
· Doctor’s details and medical information

The emergency services have been made aware of the scheme in this area and will look for the ‘Green Cross’ sticker inside the front door of the house which will let them know that the information can be found in the bottle in the refrigerator.

Bottles and forms are available FREE at local chemists, health centres, housing associations etc.

OR email your local Lions Club if you would like to request a Message in a Bottle or order new ones.

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