Published by Nicki Hayes

Categorised in Good To Know

Our roundup of trustworthy, helpful lockdown links for family carers

Overwhelm is a common response to the constant stream of coronavirus related news and thoughts we’re all battling with right now. In this article, Nicki Hayes brings together ‘good to know’ lockdown information for family carers from sources you can trust… 

As our journey through lockdown progresses, continuing to find our way through the most extraordinary period of uncertainty in modern times can feel overwhelming. Finding ways to control the controllables and remembering that we are not alone can be helpful. To this end, here’s a round up of useful, trustworthy links you can turn to.

Family carers are not alone

There are 8.8 million unpaid carers across the UK over the age of 16, with as many as 800,000 younger carers. Together we provide unpaid care to the value of £132 billion a year. This, according to Carers UK, is equivalent to the care provided by the NHS.

Experts are representing family carers

Here at FamilyCarersNet, we’re pleased that the nation is finally awakening to the important role of paid carers in our society and the serious issues they are facing. However, we’re also aware that the nation’s growing tribe of unpaid carers can feel like they’ve been forgotten.

Let us reassure you that you have not been forgotten. As well as FamilyCarersNet, there are other well informed organisations out there representing unpaid carers and contributing to government guidance. In fact, on 8th April, the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) released this guidance for people providing unpaid care to family and friends through the coronavirus crisis. It included recommendations from such organisations, including Carers UK and Carers Trust.

How to create a contingency plan with your loved one

One key recommendation from the DHSC is for all carers to “create an emergency plan with the person they care for”. Doing this is something which is in your control and which will, without doubt, ease anxiety for all concerned.

Here’s FamilyCarersNet’s downloadable template for a coronavirus emergency plan.

How to find alternative care quickly if you’re unable to continue caring

The Government’s guidance also provides practical information on finding alternative care quickly if you’re unable to continue caring. One recommendation is to find a Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group in your area.

Struggling to get the supplies and support you need?

Learning from each other is at the heart of FamilyCarersNet’s mission and there are plenty of other carers you can chat with about this in ‘The Pod’. Whilst we have health professionals on hand to provide professional guidance, we want to share learning from people who have direct experience of life as a carer too. People like you.

Do you have a story about life as a carer in lockdown?

Maybe you’ve discovered a new gadget or app that’s helping you stay in touch with a loved one you cannot visit. We’ve heard about ‘My Home Helper’ from a carer in the Isle of Wight who’s finding it invaluable in supporting his mum who lives hundreds of miles away. Read his story here.  

Maybe you’ve created a routine, found a podcast, or read a book that you think others might benefit from. For example, I’ve just finished Viktor Frankl’s psychological memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning, yet again. I’ve read it even more times than I’ve read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

Viktor was a celebrated Austrian neuroscientist, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor who developed a form of psychotherapy called logotherapy. Logotherapy is founded upon the belief that striving to find meaning in life is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. Viktor passionately believed that, so long as people have a ‘why’ to live, then they can bear with almost any ‘how’.

In this memoir, he outlines how this simple belief helped him to survive his Holocaust experience and how that experience further developed and reinforced his theories. It is a surprisingly uplifting book. Re-reading it reminded me of the importance of finding meaning in our current experience, rather than just enduring it.



Talking about choosing one’s own way, I’m in ‘The Pod’ with other carers sharing, chatting and sometimes SHOUTING about how I’m choosing to find mine. Come and join us! 

Let’s get sharing lock down stories amongst this community of carers. Let’s keep on learning from each other’s experiences.

Helpful links 

International

  • World Health Organization (WHO) provides rolling updates on COVID-19 from the United Nation’s (UN) directing and coordinating authority on international health.

UK 

England 

  • The UK Government website.
  • The NHS website.
  • See UK Government Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family.
  • Get coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person. Register on the Gov.uk website if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food. If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else. 
  • Public Health England features new coronavirus news updates everyday. 

Northern Ireland 

Scotland

Wales

Carers UK

Find answers to questions such as: 

What is the latest advice for unpaid carers? How do I protect those I care for that I do not live with? 

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