Being employed as a carer or personal assistant of the disabled or elderly can be a very rewarding career choice. Being a non-paid carer of a family member, friend or neighbour can also be rewarding but is rarely through choice. This type of care is often undertaken as an act of kindness, family commitment or in some cases through a feeling of duty.
Whatever your carers choice is, you will need to firstly ask yourself a few questions before committing to taking on this responsible role:
What to consider before becoming a carer:
- How healthy are you? Are you physically able to care for someone?
- Can you cope with stress and often emotional situations?
- Does your lifestyle enable you to offer the time and commitment needed?
- If needed can you change your lifestyle or current routine?
- Are you able to function well with limited or disturbed sleep?
- Are you able to complete forms and communicate with others?
- Can you manage financially on a potentially lower income?
As a carer you will find yourself facing a range of daily risks including personal injury, errors and mistakes, accidental loss and potentially alleged abuse claims from the person or family of the person you care for. In the same way you would insure your car or home, It is essential that have carers insurance to cover you against these and many other unforeseen liability issues that may arise. This is important for your own protection.
Also if you employ a carer, you will need to take out carer employment insurance. This will offer you financial cover if your carer gets injured or has an accident during any of his or her carer work-related duties.
While this type of insurance may not be mandatory you need to be aware that without this protection you could be held financially responsible for any injury or compensation claim that your carer may make.
It would also be advisable to consider public liability insurance. This is designed to cover you for any damage to property or injury that you or your carer may cause while working for you.
We searched out a few dedicated providers of this specialised insurance and have included a link to the one that stood out from the crowd. See the banner left and and highlighted links.
There is a great deal of help, advice and support for carers over the Internet as well as many local carers support organisations. Below are a few resources that may be useful.
Carers UK : Offers expert advice and support over the phone with great online resources.
Carerstrust: Advice in all areas including finance, respite care and carers allowances.
NHS: Support and benefit advice for carers.