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Information for carers

Information about looking after a family member, friend or neighbour who would not cope without your support during the coronavirus pandemic. Please note if adult social care are already helping you to arrange care for the person you look after, please do not cancel that package of care.

Frequently asked questions

Protect yourself and others by following the hygiene and infection control guidelines on the NHS website. It details what action you should take and when.

If you are worried that you or someone you look after has coronavirus, NHS 111 provides direct guidance through the online coronavirus helpline. Let them know you are a carer.

In Leicester, Age UK have a telephone helpline, which provides useful local information. The telephone number for this service is 0116 299 2278 (Monday – Friday, 9.00am- 1.00pm).

Further information can be found on the Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland website.

If you look after an older person, there is lots of local information about support available on the Leicester Ageing Together website.

Every Mind Matters provides practical advice on looking after your mental wellbeing.

The Carers Centre LLR is also offering support to family carers. You can contact them on 0116 251 0999 or find out more about the services they have on offer by visiting the Carers Centre website.

If you feel that proof of your caring role would be useful, you can obtain a free Carer Passport from the Leicester Carer Support Service on 0116 222 0538.

The Carer Passport is designed to raise awareness of caring and eases carer recognition in a variety of situations. The passport will be recognised across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

The government’s guidance for those who provide unpaid care for friends or family includes general guidance for carers, as well as advice for young carers on accessing education, as well as accessing support through your school, college or university.

For further support as a young carer, you can make a referral to our Duty and Assessment Service on 0116 454 1004 (option 1).

Free testing for coronavirus from the NHS has ended for most people in England. This means that if you want to get tested and are not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.

Further information is available on the NHS website.

If you haven’t had your COVID-19 vaccine or booster yet and would like to book an appointment, you can book your vaccination appointment online at NHS.UK or call 119 to enquire.

There are currently no nationally set direct restrictions on visiting in care homes. However, care homes may have set their own rules for visiting, so we advise that you should check with the care home before visiting a loved one. There may also be restrictions on visiting e.g., if there is an outbreak at the care home.

If you are unable to visit someone you usually care for, consider how technology might help you keep in touch and connect with them. Perhaps explore Facetime or Skype as a way to talk face to face, though at a distance.

Jointly is an innovative mobile and online app (web, iOS, Android) developed by Carers UK that is designed by carers for carers. It is designed to make caring easier, less stressful and more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message.

There is also technology that can help with particular tasks, in case you can't be around, such as managing taking medication. Read more about different types of remote technology that are available to help on the Carers UK website.

Care homes, supported living and home care providers are familiar with the Government guidance detailing how they can maintain delivery of care and reduce the transmission of coronavirus. If you wish to read this, it can be found below:

There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, however if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Government guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts advises that you should keep your distance from other people you live with and spend as little time as possible in shared areas such as kitchens and living rooms. This is particularly important if someone you live with is unvaccinated or at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19, especially those with a severely weakened immune system.

If someone that you care for requires support and you are unable to provide your usual support, please contact the Leicester Carer Support Service who will be able to offer you appropriate advice and information. You can contact them on 0116 222 0538.

Make sure your GP / medical professionals know that you are a carer. Ask for this to be added to your GP's 'Carer Register'. For information on how to do this, please see Carer First's guidance on their Let your GP know webpage or ask the Leicester Carer Support Service on 0116 2220538.

Preparing for hospital

It is useful to prepare a single hospital bag for the person you look after. This should include:

  • Their emergency contacts
  • A list of the types of medication they take (including dose and frequency)
  • Any details of planned care appointments
  • Things you would need for an overnight stay (for example, snacks, pyjamas, toothbrush, medication).
  • If they have an advanced care plan, please include that. You could also prepare one for yourself if you feel that you are at higher risk from coronavirus.

Locally, there is also a ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme which encourages everyone to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form in a bottle in the fridge in case the emergency services need that information. The Leicester Carer Support Service can provide you with more information about this scheme and the best way of getting one to you if needed.

Utilities

Ensure to let your energy supplier know, if the person you care for is vulnerable, of pensionable age, has a disability or a long-term medical condition. Each energy supplier keeps a Priority Services Register of people who may need additional assistance and it’s free to be added to the list. Gas and electricity suppliers have agreed an emergency package of measures to ensure vulnerable people do not get cut off amid the  coronavirus outbreak.

Information about Severn Trent Water’s Priority Service Register can be found online or by calling them on 0345 750 0500.

If you need to provide care to support a vulnerable person, you need to do so safely. Guidance on staying self and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be found online.

Repeat prescriptions

You can sign up to a repeat prescription delivery service if the person you care for is reliant on regular prescription medication. For further information and to check if your GP surgery uses this service see Free online prescription service (NHS).

Shopping

You can shop online for grocery items and have them delivered. All home deliverers have measures in place to prevent infection spread including 'no contact' deliveries.

Personal assistants (PAs) may not be able to support the person you look after if they become ill. If this happens, you should contact them in the first instance for advice.

You can also find additional information and advice on personal assistants on our personal assistant information pages.

You can continue to access COVID-19 personal protective equipment free of charge until 31 March 2023 or until infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance is withdrawn or significantly amended as long as you do not live with the person or people you care for.  From 1st April 2022 this service will be provided by the Department of Health and Social Care instead of the Leicester Carer Support Service.

We are currently awaiting a digital link to the personal protective equipment form from the Department of Health and Social Care. If you have previously accessed personal protective equipment via the Leicester Carer Support Service, they will write to you to explain the new process. If you require any support following receipt of that letter, please contact the Leicester Carer Support Service directly on 0116 222 0538.

If you have not had to utilise the free personal protective equipment offer before, and you live with the person or people you care for, it is not currently recommended that you wear personal protective equipment unless advised to do by a healthcare professional like a GP or nurse.

The free personal protective equipment offer is available to cover needs that have arisen due to COVID-19 and where 2m social distancing can’t be maintained. If you would normally use personal protective equipment because of the nature of the acre you provide, you should continue to access it through your normal channels.

If you have not had to utilise the free personal protective equipment offer before and you do not live with the person or people you care for, please contact the Leicester Carer Support Service on 0116 222 0538 and they will explain how to access this. 

The dementia support service offers support in Leicester and Leicestershire for those living with dementia and their carers and actively promotes their wellbeing. This service can be contacted on 0116 223 7363 or dementia.support@ageukleics.org.uk Monday – Friday, 8.30am -5.30pm.

Advice and practical tips from the Alzheimer’s Society can be found below:

You can also speak to a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse, go to the Dementia UK’s Helpline webpage.

  • Every Mind Matters provides practical advice on looking after your mental wellbeing.
  • LAMP - Provides support to carer and are running groups for anyone that looks after someone with mental health difficulties. For information on how to attend a group, contact them on 0116 255 6286
  • Leicester Life Links - offer mental health advice and support

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) has set up a dedicated phone line for people of all ages in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to access urgent NHS mental health support 24 hours a day. The Central Access Point links callers with call handlers and clinicians who can assess their needs and advise, support, signpost or refer them directly to the appropriate service. You can access this service by calling 0116 2953060.

The government guidance on providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults contains advice on:

  • Protecting yourself and the person you care for
  • Supporting the person through change
  • Maintaining your own health and wellbeing.

You can get information from Mencap as well as helpful advice on how to manage difficult feelings.

Turning Point support people who are concerned about their drug or alcohol use. To speak to them via the phone call 330 303 6000.

Dear Albert can also support with substance misuse difficulties. You can contact the team on 0800 880 3153 or text 07712 707 999.