The Brain Charity delivers the carers advocacy service for residents who live within the boundaries of Liverpool City Council.
What is a carer?
Broadly a carer is
"somebody who provides support or who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability. This would not usually include someone paid or employed to carry out that role, or someone who is a volunteer"
- Care Act, 2014
An individual might need to care for someone from birth because of an condition they have such as cerebral palsy or Down's syndrome. Or, they may need to begin to start to care for someone suddenly, for instance if someone close to them has had a stroke or a brain haemorrhage. It can also be the case that a person becomes a carer more gradually because the person they care for has a condition that worsens over time. There are many definitions of what it means to be a carer, but essentially it is about looking after someone who needs help with daily living. If you are unsure if you or someone you know could be classed as a carer we can help you to work this out.
What is Advocacy?
"Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice."
- The Care Forum
The Brain Charity carers advocacy service offers free, independent, professional support for adult carers. Advocates are available to assist carers to access a range of personalised services to support them in their role and to help the people that they care for remain independent and within their own homes and communities.
Advocates can help carers to:
- Prepare for meetings, hearings, etc.
- Represent carers at hearings, meetings, etc. at the request of the carer.
- Represent the carer by agreement and / or speak on their behalf at health, legal, etc. appointments;
- Support the carers’ autonomy and self-determination by information giving, clarification, signposting, explanation of options and supporting decision making;
- Give information and promote involvement in services and decisions affecting the carers’ life by supporting them to network and lobby, and to represent their own views, wishes, feelings and aspirations to regional bodies, government bodies, research institutions, etc.