Health and wellbeing services
Anyone can become a carer and carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be any age.
Many feel that they're doing what anyone would do in the same situation; caring for a mother, father, wife, husband, son, daughter or best friend, for example.
However, being a carer can be challenging, stressful and hard work physically and mentally.
If you’re a carer it is important that you look after your own health and wellbeing. Many carers concentrate on the person they look after and forget about looking after themselves properly.
It’s important to look after yourself so you have the energy and emotional stability to carry out your carrying role.
In Derbyshire there are many services available to support health and wellbeing:
Live Life Better Derbyshire
The Live Life Better Derbyshire service is a free healthy lifestyle service that offers help with:
- weight management: diet advice, discussion/support groups and 1:1 sessions
- stopping smoking: access to stop smoking products, telephone support and drop-in support groups
- getting active and whole lifestyle support: advice and help to get more active.
The Live Life Better Derbyshire website also gives advice and information on mental health, housing, falls prevention, money advice and alcohol awareness.
First Contact Derbyshire Signposting Scheme
The Derbyshire County Council First Contact scheme can put you in touch with local services who can help with things like reducing alcohol intake, improving mental/emotional wellbeing and accessing social and recreational activities in your area. It also puts you in touch with services to help with housing issues, keeping your home warm and fire safety.
Your back and joints
If the person you care for needs support with moving around it can put a lot of strain on your back and joints. Carers UK have written a guide about looking after your back which offers lots of practical tips. It may also be useful to access some Moving and Handling training to reduce the risk of hurting yourself. Your GP should also be able to give advice and/or treatment.
Mental health and wellbeing
Mental and emotional wellbeing can be simply described as feeling good and functioning well. If you are suffering ill mental health as a result of your caring role it is important that you ask for support as soon as possible. A Carers Assessment would help identify services available to support you.
Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust - Keeping Well Guide
Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust have developed a Keeping Well guide that is packed full of advice and information about getting older, eating well, reducing alcohol intake, relationships and much more. There is also information and advice specifically aimed at carers who look after someone with mental health problems.
NHS Health Checks
Did you know that if you're aged between 40 and 74 then you may be entitled to a free NHS Health check? The health check aims to reduce your chance of developing five different serious diseases: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke or dementia. Find out more on the NHS Health Check website or NHS Choices.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you receive a carers allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill. Ask your GP or pharmacist for more information.
Practical Guide to Healthy Caring
Public Health England have produced a great guide on keeping yourself healthy and well while your looking after someone else. It has great tips and information, including practical things you can do to mnake life easier.
Strictly No Falling
Age UK Derby and Derbyshire run Strictly No Falling classes throughout the county. A variety of classes are available including chair based exercises and Tai Chi - all with the aim of improving strength and balance to reduce the risk of falls.
Derbyshire Sport have details of all sorts of sports clubs, classes and groups. They also work with a whole host of partners to ensure an inclusive approach is taken to physical activity and sport across the county. The Active and Inclusive section of their website has details of sports and activities for disabled people - so you and the person you care may be able to find something active to do together?
Getting out and about is good for your physical and mental wellbeing. But if you care for someone who is disabled it can be difficult to get out because some local activities and locations aren't accessible to disabled people. Local charity Accessible Derbyshire aim to improve the lives of disabled people and their carers in Derbyshire by helping them find accessible leisure and tourism in the area. Their website features accessible days out, accommodation, activities, scenic drives, picnic spots, offers and Changing Places toilets in the area.
Alcohol and drugs support
Derbyshire Recovery Partnership is a combined drug and alcohol service. From 1 April it will offer services ranging from one-off advice to through to structured one-to-one interventions and medical prescribing dependent on individual need. The service will also provide counselling services and health improvement services, as well as offering advice and information for carers. Tel: 01246 206514 or 0845 3084010 or email: email@example.com
There are also a range of other local and national services offer support with drug and alcohol issues.
Walking for Health
Programmes of led walks are being arranged all over Derbyshire. The walks are for people of all abilities and are a great way to get back into exercise and meet new people. The walks are led by experienced leaders. To find a walk in your area you can contact your local leisure centre (details below), district / borough council or do an internet earch for 'health walks' plus the name of your town/area.
In some areas there are 'stroll and roll' walks that are accessible to people in wheelchairs. Again you contact your local borough or district council to see if the scheme operates in your area.
Your local leisure centre will have all sorts of classes, groups and activities to help keep you fit and healthy. Leisure centres are managed by your local district or borough council:
- Amber Valley Borough Council sport, leisure and wellbeing
- Bolsover District Council - go active
- Chesterfield Borough Council - sport and leisure
- Derbyshire Dales District Council leisure centres
- Erewash Borough council - health clubs
- High Peak Borough Council - leisure centres
- North East Derbyshire District Council - leisure facilities
- South Derbyshire District Council - leisure facilities
You may be able to use Live Life Better Derbyshire's Get Active service to get free access to your local leisure centre for up to 12 weeks. However, you have to be referred by your GP or a health professional.
Community groups and social activities
The Carers Directory has details of services that provide social activities for carers, some with the person you care for and some just for carers.
Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) have a directory of local groups and services to support health and wellbeing including condition related support groups.
You can use the Derbyshire Directory to search for community groups, sports clubs, charities and voluntary organisations. More than 3,000 local non-profit groups are listed on the directory.
The Derbyshire Community Directory lists voluntary groups, organisations, social clubs, charities, social enterprises based in Derby and Derbyshire.
Derbyshire Adult Care Information Leaflets
Derbyshire Adult Care produce a range of information leaflets including Guide to Carers Services, Need a Bit of Help at Home and Guide to Adult Care which give advice on services to support wellbeing. You can use the Adult Care leaflet order form to read the leaflets online or order printed copies.
Health and Wellbeing Zones
Health and Wellbeing Zones are available in Derbyshire libraries and other community venues such as some GP surgeries and hospitals. The zones offer a range of books, leaflets and other information that you can use to find local services or get advice about staying well, healthy and independent. Some zones provide computer kiosks with a free link to useful websites such as NHS Choices, Citizens Advice Bureau, district and borough councils etc.
Creative Carers is a project run BY carers FOR carers. Their carers retreat is based in the heart of Derby city centre, where carers can join in with a range of relaxing and enjoyable activities and learn new skills which benefit them long-term.
To find out more about Creative Carers, watch this 4 minute video or visit their website where you can sign up as members, go on their mailing list (open to non-carers) or book onto their activities: www.creative-carers.org.
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