The Fixer: Help for carers

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Dear Fixer,
Together with my husband, I have just started caring for my mother, who is now 78 years old.

Until recently, she was living a short distance away - despite suffering from dementia.

However, she had a fall recently and now needs round-the-clock care, so it is easier for her to live with us.

I would therefore like to know if I can claim any benefits to help with the extra costs involved.

I do not work, but my husband has a full-time job. Any advice you can offer would be very gratefully received.

D Bishop, London

Dear Mrs Bishop,

More than a quarter of the British adults who provide care for others miss out on benefits because they do not identify themselves as carers, according to figures from pension provider Scottish Widows.

So you are right to look into this now and claim all the benefits and social care support you can.

Benefits that you and your family may qualify for include the Carer's Allowance of £59.75 a week, which you could claim because you do not work, the Attendance Allowance of £53 a week for people aged over 65 in need of personal care and a free television licence for those aged over 75.

Other support available should include respite care for your mother to enable you and your husband to go away for the weekend, for example.

However, for more information and advice on the benefits and social care available, call the Carers UK advice line on 0808 8087777 or visit the Find me good care website.

The Fixer

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