Do you look after someone who would struggle to cope without your support?
If this is 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 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 on 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.
- TuVida 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 TuVida, Nottingham City Council or your health provider.
Hundreds of thousands of unpaid carers have now received their COVID-19 vaccine – an important step in protecting themselves and the people they care for from coronavirus.
Unpaid carers who haven’t received their vaccine yet can book an appointment or visit their nearest walk in centre.
For more information on vaccination for carers, please download the vaccine help pack from The Department of Health & Social Care.
Carers in both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County can you can contact TuVida on 0115 962 8920 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org which provides free, confidential and personalised information, advice and support for carers of all ages including telephone and online support.
The County Council is supporting health partners by managing requests for information and assistance related to the vaccine rollout for county and city residents. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com or call 0300 500 80 80.
If you are an unpaid carer and do not live with the person you care for, it is recommended that you wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when delivering this care. This includes if you are caring for a family member. You can access free COVID-19 related PPE from your local authority.
If you used PPE before COVID-19, you should continue to get this from your usual supplier.
If you live in Nottingham City:
You can register and order a supply of all your COVID-19 related PPE through Nottingham City Council’s online system
The amount and type of PPE you should wear will depend on the type of care you provide. For more information on what PPE is needed when, please click here
If you cannot use the internet, then please telephone Nottingham Health and Care Point on 0300 131 0300 and tell them that you need to order some PPE for your care role.
Any questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, that the new PPE illustrative guide for unpaid carers is now available here: Guidance overview: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendation for unpaid carers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
This guide was produced collaboratively with UKHSA behavioural scientists, carers and national/ local carer groups. It should be used alongside guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family and local policies, where they exist, including care homes or day centres.
Recommendations on PPE will differ slightly between the ‘How to Work Safely’ guidance and that for unpaid carers. However, guidance in both documents should still be followed until updates are issued.