Self Care Week 2017: Caring for Others
You are a carer if you are looking after someone else because of age, illness or disability. This could be your spouse, partner, parent, another relative or a friend. You may not think you are a carer. ‘Hidden’ carers care for their family or partner as part of everyday life and may not know about the help available.
It is important that you remember to look after your own health and make sure you are cared for too. The advice you find here may also help you to do that. Make sure you do not miss check-ups and health appointments.
If you are unwell, it will make it more difficult for you to carry out your caring role as well as you would like to.
Being a carer is hard work . You may face issues you may not have had to deal with before and it can be hard to adjust to having someone dependent on you for support.
Being a carer can mean major changes in your life as well as the life of the person you are caring for. You may need to make practical changes with adaptations and improvements to your home such as bath rails or making a home suitable for wheelchair access.
If you feel under pressure there are people who can help:
• Let your GP practice know you are a carer so they can support you by looking after your health.
• You are not alone. Ask for help. Talk to your GP or Leicester City Council Customer Services. They will be able to guide you to:
• A carer’s assessment is a way of finding out what help you need with caring and will help you to maintain your own health and wellbeing along with your life, work and family commitments. Contact Leicester City Council’s Adult Social Care team on 01 16 454 1004 to ask for more details. Alternatively talk to your GP.
• Financial support may be available.
Take a look at these useful videos:
Information video from the Carers Trust – Are you a carer?
Looking out for others this winter – Video about carers and caring for others so they stay well this wonter
There are websites that offer useful advice for carers. These include:
and websites devoted to specific conditions such as:
and many more.
CLASP – the Carers’ Centre can also offer lots of advice or support to people in a caring role. Telephone 0116 251 0999.
Could you be a winter buddy?
A winter buddy is someone who can help make the winter months a bit easier by keeping an eye out for someone who is vulnerable because of age, disability or ill health.
Being a buddy can mean watching for signs that might indicate that people need a bit of help. Simple things like popping round for a cup of tea, checking they are warm, that their heating works, that they have enough to eat and drink and they know who to contact if they feel unwell, could make a big difference. You can also offer help with practical tasks such as shopping or collecting prescriptions.
We have produced a Winter Buddy Checklist with tips and questions, as well as an overview of the help that is available, including services for Leicester City residents.
You can download the factsheet on the right of this page.
- Children's Health Monday 13th November
coughs and colds
bumps, bruises and falls.
- Older People Tuesday 14th November
- Carers and Caring for others Wednesday 15th November
People who look after someone else on a daily basis, who wouldn’t cope without their help, are being asked to tell their GP Practice so they themselves can get extra support by being registered as a carer. They will also receive advice about looking after their own health.
Everyone will be asked to play a part in becoming a winter buddy to keep an eye on older and vulnerable friends and neighbours.
- Long Term Conditions Thursday 16th November
If you have a long term condition, it is very important to stay on top of things to prevent the condition from getting worse. Advice will be given about how to do this, as well as how to maximise mental wellbeing.
Everyone will also be encouraged to sign up to the Summary Care Record. If a patient needs medical help outside of their GP Practice’s normal working hours, the information in the record will help health professionals to make the most informed decisions about their care.
- Coughs, colds and antibiotics Friday 17th November
A significant proportion of GP time is taken up with common winter viruses such as coughs, colds and sore throats. We’ve got lots of tips on how to take care of winter bugs at home, how to prevent the spread of infection and when you might need to seek further help.
18th November is European Antibiotic Awareness Day and so we’re giving advice on why we need to limit our use of antibiotics for minor health conditions, so that they will continue to be effective against serious illnesses. Antibiotics will not cure common winter bugs, so we’re asking everyone to trust your your GP and not pressure them to prescribe antibiotics.
- Summary Care Records
Another way to protect yourself this winter is to enhance your Summary Care Record (SCR). You will already have a core SCR that includes what medicines you are taking, any allergies you suffer or any bad reaction to medicines. You can choose to add other information to your SCR so that if you have to be treated by other health professionals, they will be able to access information more quickly enabling them to make better and safer decisions about your treatment. Ask at your GP practice while you’re getting your flu jab, and they can give you more details. And if you’re talking to people about the flu jab, remind them to update their SCR at the same time.