OPAL Carer Support Services

Who are Carers?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to someone who could not otherwise manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, has a long term condition, is disabled, has mental health concerns or substance abuse issues.  Carers may be full-time or juggling paid work with their unpaid caring responsibilities at home.

OPAL Carer Support Service

OPAL offers a support service which enables carers to gain some relief, for a short time, from their caring responsibilities. OPAL Carer support services are available to carers who are aged over 60, or who care for someone who is over 60, and is designed to be flexible to enable us to meet the differing needs of carers and of those they are caring for. 

Our programme provides carers with regular opportunities to meet other carers in similar situations. We offer an interesting programme of activities and events which are social, cultural, and recreational but also focus on wellbeing, coping strategies, and provide a platform for carers to share their experiences. We find this understanding and support is invaluable to our members, in addition to the opportunity to gain some relief from their caring role.

Whilst some carers attend our sessions on their own, many of our carers bring the people they care for to our organised events giving both an opportunity to enjoy social activities with support from our team.

In some situations carers may find they are unable to leave the person they care for alone in order for them to attend our sessions; or they may decide that the group sessions simply aren’t for them. Our carer support service can, in some circumstances, arrange for the carer to have a short break of two to three hours for them to use as they choose to, sometimes by meeting with friends, go shopping or to just get some rest. Supported by a regular OPAL volunteer, their cared for person is offered companionship either inside or outside of the home.

The changing needs of our carers

At OPAL we are particularly aware of the rising number of cared for people living with dementia in the UK. Caring for someone with dementia can bring its own challenges and additional demands on our carers.

We are constantly re-assessing the services we provide to ensure that our carers, and their loved ones, have the support they need in navigating these challenges.

The recent introduction of our dementia friendly activities, and ensuring our environments are dementia friendly, allows many of our carers and the people they care for to be involved in the same event but undertaking different planned activities and thus be able to enjoy quality time together.

Our programme of events

OPAL Carer events take place at different venues across Cheshire West & Chester and are varied across the month, meaning something for everyone!

For more information on this month’s events please click here

Carer support Volunteers

Our carer support service is well supported by our amazing volunteers, and new volunteers are always made very welcome. If you would like to know more about volunteering for this service please click here or email janet.handley@opalservices.org.uk

If you require more information, wish to make a referral, or would like to arrange an assessment please contact one of our Organisers below or complete our online referral form

Debbie de Kock on 07547 508280 Debbie.dekock@opalservices.org.uk 

Maria Hudson on 07547 508 324 maria.hudson@opalservices.org.uk