Do you look after someone who would struggle to cope without your support?
If you this sounds like you, you may be a carer. You may not see yourself as one, but if you are supporting a relative or friend of any age who has a learning disability, mental health issues, a history of substance misuse, a serious health condition, is physically disabled, or is elderly and frail, then you are a carer. A carer can be young or old – a child or young person under 18 can be a carer. A carer might have support needs of their own, and does not necessarily live with, or even close to, the person they care for. If you are caring for someone else, you may be particularly concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak, and how it might affect you and the person you care for.
As a carer you may be worried about what will happen if you become unwell, need to isolate and are unable to provide care. You should plan for this now if you haven’t done so already, by developing an emergency plan with the person you care for. Think about what tasks the person you care for needs help with, and who else could do them if you couldn’t. You may need more than one person to do the tasks you usually do.
Your plan should include:
- The name and address of the person you care for
- Who should be contacted in an emergency
- Details of medication taken by the person you care for
- Details of any ongoing treatment needed by the person you care for
- Details of medical appointments the person you care for needs to keep.
If you need help with developing an emergency plan, locally you can contact Nottinghamshire Carers Hub on 0115 824 8824 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. National information is available from Carers UK.
If you are self-isolating and normally collect prescriptions you should telephone the pharmacy to check whether home delivery is an option or if there is another local scheme that can provide access to prescriptions. If you become unwell and are unable to provide care in an emergency, you should contact Nottingham City Council, or your health provider.
If you, or the person you care for, are concerned about a paid carer coming in and out of the cared-for person’s home, home, and the risk of infection, you should speak with the care provider to agree a plan for continued care.
The stresses of current circumstances mean that more than ever, you need to look after yourself as well as the person you care for.
- Nottinghamshire Carers Hub provide information, advice and support for carers, including telephone and online support, help with planning for emergencies, and online mindfulness activities for carers
- If you are a carer aged under 18 you can find online and telephone activities and support from Action for Young Carers
- You can find other local carer organisations or an online forum at Carers UK
Remember that protecting your own mental and physical health is just as important as looking after the person you care for. If you’re struggling and not sure what to do, you can always contact Nottinghamshire Carers Hub, Nottingham City Council or your health provider.