CO Vid 19 and carers
There’s been a lot of news in the media recently about the coronavirus. If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer direct guidance as they have set up an online coronavirus helpline. You can also call 111, letting them know that you are a carer.
Carers UK advice also encourages carers to register for an ‘Emergency Card’ to enable continuity of care should anything happen. It is also a good thing for carers to have this card at any time.
The link to the card is below…
Even if you are not showing symptoms, it’s important to use this service if you’ve been in close contact to someone with the virus or if you’ve been to one or more of the places listed on the NHS website in the last 14 days.
If you feel that you may have to forego your care duties, look to put a contingency plan in place and, if you can, make cover arrangements with trusted neighbours, friends or family members.
Read our advice on creating a contingency plan. Here, we explain how many different sources of support can be used to bolster your plan. For example, you can: ensure key information is made readily available for professionals; draw on networks of community and family support; and explore what technology can be used to support anyone you look after when you can’t be in the same place at the same time.
In this section, we also explain how getting a carer’s assessment could be the first step to gaining additional vital support if you need it. It’s your chance to discuss any help you need as a carer. And if you’ve already been assessed, it is always worth double checking that you are receiving everything you’re entitled to.
You could also check with the local authority of those you care for to see whether they have an Emergency Plan in place. You can find their contact details here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council. The local authority should also publish this plan on their website.
Do I need to stay away from others?
You only need to stay away from public places (self-isolate) if advised to by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional. The NHS website has specific guidance on what action you should take and when, if necessary. Read their guidance.
How do I protect someone I care for?
In the first instance, it is advisable to protect yourself and others by simply following the hygiene and infection control guidelines illustrated on the BBC’s video and included under How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus on the NHS website.
If you live with those you care for
If you think you’ve been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, call 111 for advice (or see relevant contact details above) as soon as possible and tell them that you are a carer. If you were planning to go away, take a look at the NHS website’s advice for travellers.
If you do not live with those you care for
Call 111 (or relevant number given above) for advice if you suspect you are at risk and tell them that you are a carer. If necessary, make plans for alternative face-to-face care for the person you care for, for example by calling on trusted neighbours, friends or family members. Read our advice on creating a contingency plan.
Care workers and other home help
If you have paid care workers, cleaners or other helpers coming into the home of the person you care for:
- ensure that they are following stringent hygiene and infection control measures as set out by the NHS. If they are employed through an agency and you have doubts, contact the agency to ask them about their policy.
- talk to the person you care for about the hygiene and infection control measures they should expect someone coming into their home to follow. They should not be afraid to insist that these are followed.