Young Adult Carer

The young adult carer was identified by adult social care as a carer for her 61-year-old mother, after being admitted to ICU at Kingston Hospital earlier in the year and her previous poor health conditions deteriorated rapidly. The carer’s mother has complex health issues including epilepsy, neurological issues, osteoarthritis and very poor mobility. She is now housebound, using a zimmerframe, a commode and hospital bed. Carerworkers come in twice a week to wash her hair, but all other personal care, admin and household chores are taken care of by the carer. 

The carer was initially reluctant to engage with KCN and unsure about how we could help. After several attempts to reach the carer, a Carers Assessment was arranged. 

During the assessment it became apparent that the carer has recently given up her life to care for her mother. She had been living abroad, having recently studied a master’s degree, and was planning to start a career in her chosen field. Her plans dramatically changed when her mother’s condition deteriorated so severely that she required full-time care and the carer returned to the UK. Previously her father had been supporting her mother but as he works full-time, for financial reasons, he is unable to give up work to care for his wife.

The carer was exhausted and feeling very overwhelmed with her situation, particularly as she is responsible for the lion’s share of caring whilst her siblings and father focus on their own careers and personal lives. She was also frustrated and upset that the career she had studied many years for has been stalled due to caring. We identified the carer could benefit from emotional support and is currently on our counselling waiting list. She has since started to apply for jobs within her chosen field.  

The carer is registered with our organisation so that she could take up any of the wellbeing services provided to ensure she has a life outside of her caring role. It was also established during the assessment that the carer and her family were not currently claiming any benefits. We encouraged her to claim Personal Independence Payment for her mother and a undertake a benefit check for herself. She is now in the process of applying for the relevant benefits. 

We commissioned a Discretionary Payment to enable the carer to take a break from caring and spend time on herself, which she has chosen to spend on a cultural activity membership that relates to her degree. We also commissioned 72 Relief Care Hours via the managed service to facilitate the carer to take a break to see friends, use her cultural membership and engage in leisure activities. 

The carer was pleasantly surprised to have received our help and support. She had not previously been aware of the relief care hours and was pleased to receive the discretionary breaks payment for herself. The carer was also previously unaware that her mother and her could be eligible for benefits that would help improve their financial situation. 

In this case we were able to successfully put in services and give helpful, practical advice for the carer to help her sustain her caring role as well as support her emotional, physical and financial needs as a carer.  We were also able to build the carer’s confidence in Kingston Carers' Network as a supportive and trustworthy organisation that can help and support her and her family.