We work with any adult carers who either live in East Lothian or who lives outside the area but who cares for someone who lives in East Lothian. We have no referral criteria so we can support any carer over the age of 18 who asks for our support.
We are set up to support carers and that is our main focus. However, it is artificial to treat carers separately from the people the people they care for. We will help with benefit claims for the cared for person as well as helping carers claim benefits in their own right. We will also work with both the carer and the person they care for to find a break or support package that works for both. We will also help sign post people.
We are not an organisation that provides or arranges for care workers to support someone. Instead we aim to support carers – that is friends or family members who are looking after someone without being paid to do so. Having said this, one of the main ways we can support unpaid carers is by helping them to arrange more support from paid care workers for the person they are looking after. We can support you to get help via the Council’s Adult Wellbeing Department (this might include help that is free as it is for personal care) or which you arrange for yourself from one of a number Care Agencies or Charities such as Crossroads. We don’t provide care workers – but we will try help you get the care worker you need.
We will always do our best to prioritise the needs of carers in crisis but we are not a crisis response service. Instead you should contact East Lothian Council on 01620 827827 or out of hours on 0800 731 6969. If it is an emergency you should call 999.
Please also consider contacting us during office hours because one of our key roles is to support carers to ensure that they are supported and able to cope with their caring role while they still want to do so. We may be able to help make sure that another crisis does not arise.
Self-directed support (SDS) is the new name for the process of assessing someone’s care needs. This should be an Outcomes Focused Assessment which looks at what people would like to achieve in their lives and the outcome they want. From this an assessment will be made of the level of support that they may require to achieve those outcomes. However, the assessment is against the Council’s Eligibility Criteria which will only provide support for critical needs and even then only if those needs are not being met by someone else – for example a carer. This is a Catch 22 – the more help carers provide the less help the person they care for may receive.
Once the assessment is completed an indicative budget will be calculated for the support the Council assess meets their criteria. At this point SDS offers 4 options for how the actual care can be organised.
CoEL can support carers through the process and to have a separate Carers Assessment carried out by the Council of their own needs. Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCIL) also supports people in East Lothian with SDS assessments and care planning http://www.lothiancil.org.uk/
We do not charge anything for the support we offer. We are funded to provide this support by East Lothian Council and NHS Lothian.
The Council does charge for many of the support services they provide. These charges should be affordable and they have scope to waive or reduce their charges. We can help.
We are always pleased if people want to raise money for us but it is important that we know who is doing so. Please contact us.
If you want to support our work but do not have the time to get involved in fund raising please consider making a donation here instead.