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Carer’s card for peace of mind

If you are a carer, what would happen to the person you look after if something was to suddenly happen to you? This doesn’t need to be a concern if you have a carer’s emergency card.

If a carer is in an accident, suddenly taken ill or has a personal crisis, then the card helps emergency services to know that they are out of action and it means there is someone who is normally cared for who will now need support.

It is a credit card sized card and key fob that should be carried at all times. In the event of a crisis, it will alert emergency services to contact Ealing Council’s adult social care team, which will then allow for an agreed emergency support plan to be put into place.

Councillor Josh Blacker, the council’s cabinet member for healthy lives, said: “It is really important for family and informal carers to apply for and have this card. It can easily be kept in a wallet or purse and the key fob can be attached to keys, a handbag or wherever is the most convenient place.

“Carers very often place the person they care for above themselves, and the underlying stress and concern that if something was to happen to them, what would that mean to those they care for, can be a daily worry. This card gives peace of mind and I urge anyone who is caring for someone to apply.”

Who is the carer’s emergency card for?

The card is available to all family and informal carers who provide care for someone who would be unable to look after themselves if they were unable to care for them due to an accident, emergency or personal crisis.

The person being cared for must live in our borough, but they do not need to be known to the council’s adult social care team.

How the carer’s emergency card works

When applying for the card, several things need to be provided: the details of an emergency support plan,  and contact information for up to 3 people who know the person cared for and have agreed they can help in an emergency.

The details of the emergency support plan will be kept on the social care database to ensure it is available any day, at any time.

If anything should happen, the emergency services will contact the council by ringing the number on the card and read out the unique reference number. The council will then put the agreed emergency support plan into place, so that care  continues to be provided.

Top tips for preparing an emergency support plan

  • speak to friends and relatives who might be able to step in at short notice to look after the person you care for
  • check they are OK with a call at any time, day or night, in an emergency – or state their availability on the form
  • provide them with a set of front door keys or tell them where keys can be obtained
  • make sure they are happy for you to share their contact details with the council
  • make sure that all the people on your emergency support plan have up-to-date details of the care plan or know where it is kept in your home
  • make sure they know what the person you look after needs, and where to find medication, incontinence pads, hearing aids and anything else they might need (you can write out a task list and include routines, likes and dislikes)
  • give details of any other care coming into your home, such as home care/nurse.

Applying for a carer’s emergency card

It is free to apply for a carer’s emergency card. Just complete the registration form and return it by email to carersemergencycard@ealing.gov.uk or by post to Funding officers, Ealing Council, Perceval House, 2nd floor – Green, 14/16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing W5 2HL.

Once the application is received and actioned, the card and key fob will be sent.

Carers will be contacted yearly to review the details in the emergency support plan to ensure they are up to date. But the plan can be updated at any time by contacting the adults contact team using the details above.

Help available

You can get a paper copy of the application form, and help with filling it in, from the Ealing Carers’ service by calling 020 3137 6194, by email to info@ealingcarers.org.uk or through its website, www.ealingcarers.org.uk.

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