We all hope it never happens, but for many carers the risk of an accident or sudden illness is a real concern.

Here are some things you can do to plan for an emergency:

  • Make a list of useful phone numbers.
  • Keep copies by the phone and in your purse or wallet.
  • If you use a mobile, make sure the numbers are programmed into your phone.

If you will rely on trusted family and friends to help out, discuss with them in advance what's involved in caring. Let them have confidential details about the person you care for, and ask them to keep this information securely and confidentially stored. Being prepared will mean they are more confident about helping out and you will have peace of mind of knowing they can cope. Include details such as:

  • medicines, aids and adaptations
  • keys and security codes
  • the contact number for emergency social care teams
  • the person's disability, illness or condition
  • the person's likes and dislikes
  • any other people involved in their care. 

If you need professional help to draw up an emergency plan, ask us for a carer's assessment. This will cover planning for emergencies.

Carer's Emergency Card scheme

Being part of the Carer's Emergency Card scheme can give you extra peace of mind by making sure the best arrangements are made to support the person you are caring for if something unexpected happens to you. 

You carry a card which tells emergency services that you are a carer and someone depends on you. The card just shows a unique ID number and the phone number of our 24-hour contact centre, where carers' details are held with information about the person cared for.

In an emergency the centre will call the people you have told us can help. This will usually be friends or family, or the council's services if no one else is available.

The service is free.

Who are the cards for?

Any carer can have a card if they regularly provide unpaid help and support to a relative, neighbour or friend who cannot manage on their own.

The person being cared for must be a Sandwell resident, but the carer could be living outside Sandwell.

Emergency cards will be most valuable if the person cared for will be vulnerable on their own and has no one else to support them.

How to apply

You can get more information and a form from:

Sandwell Community Alarms service - 0121 569 6800/02 or email community_alarms@sandwell.gov.uk

You will be asked to list one or two people who can be contacted in an emergency. If this isn't possible it doesn't stop you having a card, but it may be a good idea to ask for a carer's assessment so that we can draw up an emergency plan with you.