Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for Carers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for Carers

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called Coronavirus.

You can find local news and information about the virus on Derbyshire County Council’s website.

General advice 

Please read the updated 'staying alert and safe' advice on the Gov.uk website

The Government and NHS have now launched the Test and Trace service. The new service ensures anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus. The service will also trace the recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for the virus and, if necessary, notify them that they must self isolate at home to stop the spread of the virus.

If you and/or the person you care for have symptoms of the virus, don't visit your GP surgery or pharmacist. Instead use the NHS coronavirus service or call 119 (if you don't have internet access) which will give advice on what action you need to take and, if necessary, arrange a test for you.

Please note that if you live with someone who has symptoms, you and anyone else in the household will need to fully self isolate for 14 days from the day when their first symptoms started. If you've had symptoms yourself and recovered, you can leave the house 7 days after you first experienced symptoms.

If you or the person you support has a health issue or illness that is not Coronavirus related it's important to still seek treatment and advice. If you would seek medical advice for the problem in normal times then please continue to do so - either by telephoning your GP, the clinic you attend or other facility you would go to. You can find more advice about this and which services are currently open in Derbyshire on the Joined Up Care Derbyshire website. If you can't find the care and health service status information you need online, you can contact Healthwatch Derbyshire on tel: 01773 880786.

There is still lots of help out there from the NHS - it is important to get help if you need it.  This document will give you more information.

Advice for carers

The government have now produced specific guidance for those who provide unpaid care to family or friends around staying alert and safe and protecting people who are vulnerable. 

Carers UK and Carers Trust have teamed up to provide helpful advice for unpaid carers who may be worried about Coronavirus including a useful section where they answer carers' frequently asked questions.

Derbyshire Carers Association are continuing to provide support to carers over the phone and online. They have a Telephone Befriending service which offers a regular friendly call from a fully trained volunteer to help alleviate isolation, provide some company and light conversation to adult carers (over 18) within Derbyshire (not Derby City). Their volunteers offer support, reassurance, a listening ear. Contact the service on tel: 01773 833833.

Derbyshire County Council have put together a web page for unpaid carers listing support lines and websites providing wellbeing advice and guidance.

Advice for people who are extremely vulnerable

If you or the person you support are in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable group' (those who should have received a letter from the NHS), it's important to seek medical advice from NHS coronavirus online service as soon as possible if you/they start getting symptoms.

The government's updated guidance advises that those who are 'clinically' vulnerable should continue shielding measures until at least 30 June 2020 to keep themselves safe by staying at home and avoiding all contact with others, except for essential medical treatment or support. If you are not sure whether you or the person you care for are classed as 'vulnerable' or 'clinically vulnerable', see the updated (29 May) shielding guidance.

Practical help with shopping and fetching prescriptions

If you can't get out to fetch shopping or prescriptions (for either yourself or the person you support) because you are ill, self isolating or shielding, contact the Derbyshire Community Response Unit (CRU) who will be able to assist.

If you've received a letter from the NHS to say you / the person you care for are in the extremely vulnerable group, your details should have been passed to the CRU autoamtically and they will contact you to ask if you need any support. If this hasn't happened, either contact the CRU or register as extremely vulnerable on the gov.uk website.

Benefits advice

Carers UK have put together an A-Z directory listing all the recent changes to benefits as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can also get the latest benefits news and advice from Derbyshire County Council's Welfare Rights team, including how to protect yourself from some of the scams going around.

Planning for emergencies and being prepared

If you haven’t already got a Carers Emergency Plan in place, take a look at our advice on planning for emergencies including the type of things to include and think about.

Managing emotional health and wellbeing

This is a very stressful time for us all, particularly for those of us who are worried about our own health and/or that of a loved one. It can also be tough emotionally if you have to isolate at home and/or socially distance yourself. 

Derbyshire County Council have collected together a list of websites, support lines, videos, and apps with some great tips to help you to look after your emotional health at this time, plus advice on staying healthy and well. You can also see our emotional health and wellbeing page.

The Recovery and Peer Support Service have launched an emotional support helpline which operates from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can call if you need some support, a listening ear or just want a chat. You can tel: 01773 734989, text: 07537410028 or speak to someone by web chat (just click on the blue 'chat' icon in the bottom right of the screen). The service is also running an online peer support group every Thursday at 6pm. If you'd like to join the group, contact the Recovery and Peer Support service and they will provide you with instructions.

new website has been developed, providing a toolkit for people who might be feeling stressed, anxious or depressed or just want to feel a bit happier.  

Support for people with Autism

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the Autism Information and Advice service will be releasing twice weekly videos on their new YouTube channel to help people stay well and try new things at home. Topics will include yoga, music, arts, gardening, Pilates, cooking lessons, mindfulness and more.

Supporting people with Dementia

Professionals in China have put together a webinar illustrating the challenges they have faced when caring for people with dementia during the Coronavirus pandemic. The main lessons of the webinar have been highlighted in this presentation which explains how the Chinese services tried to manage the situation and what was thought to be most effective.

Northern Health and Social Care Trust have developed a guidance to help support carers understand the changes in behaviour in people with dementia during the pandemic.

Supporting someone with mental ill health

Rethink have put together information for carers who support someone with mental ill health which includes a useful FAQ section.

Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust are offering an out of hours support line for people with mental ill health and their carers. The line is open between 9am and midnight, 7 days a week. Tel: 0300 790 0596

Coronavirus information in other formats

If the person you support has a learning disability you can find easy read information on Coronavirus on both the Mencap and Inclusion North websites.

An Easy Read Guide to Social Distancing has been developed by the National Autistic Society and the Department of Social Care and Health.

The government has made Coronavirus information available in a variety of languages. If you can't find the language you need on the gov.uk website, Doctors of the World have created a publically accessible shared drive where you'll find translations of the NHS's Coronavirus advice in dozens of langauges.

If you or the person you support are BSL users, you'll find videos explaining what coronavirus is and how to prevent the spread on Sign Health.

May 31 2020

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