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The importance of registering as a carer with your GP

    Caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting and overwhelming – physically, emotionally and financially. But support is available. Registering as a carer with your GP is one way to access this support.

    If you register as a carer with your GP, it will enable them to support you in your caring role. What is offered varies between practices, but it often includes:

    • free annual health checks
    • the annual flu jab and Covid-19 boosters as advised
    • access to a ‘Carer’s Champion’ who can support you in your caring role
    • support with your physical and mental health to enable you to carry out your caring responsibilities
    • general information and advice about being a carer
    • signposting to other services that could help, such as support groups, day centres and respite care for the person you look after
    • flexibility with booking doctor’s appointments for you and the person you care for – for example, if both you and the person with dementia need to see the GP, booking appointments back-to-back so you do not have to visit the surgery twice
    • help with prescriptions, such as having them delivered to your home
    • a referral to your local council to see if you qualify for a ‘carer’s break payment’, allowing you to take some time out if your caring role is affecting your health
    • help with advance care planning for the person with dementia
    • support with applying for assessments and benefits such as the carer’s assessment, Carer’s Allowance and Blue Badge parking

    All GP practices have a carers’ register – a list of patients who are providing unpaid care to someone with a long-term health condition. You can speak to the receptionist or practice manager to request a registration form.

    Alternatively, Carers UK has produced a template letter that you can complete and send to your GP.

    Once you have told your GP that you are a carer, they can add this information to your patient record and help you to start getting the support you need.

    Some GP practices have a separate register for young carers, so if a child or teenager under the age of 18 is helping to care for a person with dementia, it is a good idea to ask if this is available.

    You do not have to register as a carer with your GP to access support and benefits such as a carer’s assessment, young carer’s assessment or Carer’s Allowance. However, if you do register, you may be offered support with these applications and assessments.

    Call the Dementia UK Helpline

    Our free, confidential Dementia Helpline is staffed by our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses who provide information, advice and support with any aspect of dementia.

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