Updated handbook for unpaid carers launched by Western Trust

Pictured at the launch of the revised Carers' Support Booklet are L-R: Bernie Dooher, Health Facilitator, Adult Learning Disability; Bernadette McDaid, Carer; Cathy Magowan, Western Trust Carers Coordinator;  Alison Gallagher, Health Improvement Department; Sheila Thompson, Carer and Martina Woods, Autism Initiatives.
Pictured at the launch of the revised Carers' Support Booklet are L-R: Bernie Dooher, Health Facilitator, Adult Learning Disability; Bernadette McDaid, Carer; Cathy Magowan, Western Trust Carers Coordinator; Alison Gallagher, Health Improvement Department; Sheila Thompson, Carer and Martina Woods, Autism Initiatives.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has revised its Carers Handbook in conjunction with Carers Northern Ireland.

The Handbook is a Carers Resource to Health and Well-being and how to access support.

The booklet contains valuable information for unpaid carers who look after family, partners or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability.

The booklet includes information on how to keep well by ensuring a balanced diet and exercise. It refers to emotional health, sleep and back care, which are issues that carers often struggle to maintain in their lives.

The resource provides information for carers on how to get help and support, including a guide to benefits, preparing for a Carers Assessment and using Direct Payments.

The booklet also contains useful contact information including Carer support groups and voluntary sector organisations.

Dr Ann Kilgallen, Western Trust Chief Executive who wrote the foreword for the handbook, commented: “The contribution made by our unpaid carers is huge, but it is a role that is often taken on at short notice and without preparation, leaving carers to struggle maintaining their own health and wellbeing.

“The updated booklet will be free to carers, giving them access to a supportive resource which helps them to explore the services available to them and how to communicate effectively with other people to help support their needs - which will improve their own health and wellbeing and that of the person they care for.”

The Western Trust Carers Co-ordinator Cathy Magowan said: “We are delighted to work with Carers Northern Ireland on the production of this revised booklet which will be an important resource for our carers. We will be circulating the booklet in Trust facilities, GP Surgeries and community pharmacies across the Western Trust area.”

Copies of the booklet are available from the Western Trust Carer Support Teams in Derry, Limavady and Strabane area, contact: Geraldine McLaughlin, Carer Development Worker, Rossabbey Offices, Abbey Street, Derry. Tel:(028) 7135 5023, Email GeraldineAnn.McLaughlin@westerntrust.hscni.net

The booklet is available in hard copy, in large print, and other languages from Carers NI (028) 90439843 and can be downloaded from the Western Trust website at www.westerntrust.hscni.net/services/CarersInformation.htm