Coronavirus FAQs, help and advice for carers
Looking after the person you care for during coronavirus
We have put together these questions and answers to help you as a carer. If you need help and support, please get in touch with us. Find out latest coronavirus information here.
What can I do if I care for someone but I don’t live with them?
- The Government has issued specific carer guidance here for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
- You may be able to arrange replacement care provision through a homecare provider. You can find local approved care providers on the council’s website here.
- If you are concerned that coronavirus means that the person you care for is not having their essential care and support needs met, you should contact East Sussex Adult Social Care. You can call them on 0345 60 80 191 (open 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including Bank Holidays), or email them through their website here.
- Care for the Carers is here to help you to navigate health and social care systems, so do get in touch if you need support
What if the person I care for does not have symptoms but is part of our self-isolating household?
Government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection is also on the Government’s website here.
Can I still go out to care for the person I’m caring for?
The NHS has written to everyone considered to be at risk of severe illness if you catch the coronavirus. You may have received the letter yourself, either as someone in this ‘high risk’ group or as the named carer of someone else who is. You can find full caring guidance on the Government’s website here.
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding and shielding is now paused. People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish. You can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low. This guidance will be kept under regular review. You can find out more about the latest shielding advice here.
If you or anyone you live with starts to display any of the symptoms of coronavirus, you must suspend your face-to-face visits. You can access Carers UK guidance and information on what you can do.
What if the person I care for is extremely vunerable?
If you are caring for someone who is extremely vulnerable due to severe illness, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect them and to reduce their risk at the current time. Ensure you follow advice on good hygiene:
- only care that is essential should be provided
- wash your hands on arrival and often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- do not visit or provide care if you are unwell and make alternative arrangements for their care
- provide information on who they should call if they feel unwell, how to use NHS 111 online coronavirus service and leave the number for NHS 111 prominently displayed
- find out about different sources of support that could be used and accessing further advice on creating a contingency plan is available from Carers UK here.
- look after your own wellbeing and physical health during this time. Further information on this is available.
What if I am a young carer or young adult carer looking after someone?
The Government has published guidance and information for people under the age of 25 who are providing care for someone during the coronavirus outbreak.
East Sussex Young Carers supports Young Carers aged 5-18 who care for a family member with long-term illness, disability, mental health or substance misuse issues. Alternatively, please get in touch with us on 01323 738390, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or text us on 07860 077300.
Self isolation and staying at home
I have received an email/text to say I have to stay inside for 3 months but have no information about how to access support?
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks. People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review and you can read the full guidance on the Governent’s website here.
I don't have anyone to help me and I'm finding it hard to cope. How can I get help during this time?
Volunteers and staff from local councils and the health service will then ensure they try to get the right assistance to the people who need it most, including arranging food deliveries, medical supplies or mental health support.
The community hubs will focus their help on people who do not have an extreme medical condition but may be vulnerable because they are isolated from help, too unwell to buy food or need extra support because of coronavirus. The hubs will also bring together volunteers, donations and projects to co-ordinate East Sussex’s community response to the virus.
The hubs are in addition to direct help which has already been arranged for people with urgent medical conditions who are being asked to shield themselves at home for 12 weeks. These people are being contacted directly by their GPs and can have food parcels delivered directly to their doors through the Sussex Resilience Forum which brings together emergency services, health services, local authorities and other partners across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
There are five hubs – one in each part of the county. They are usually open during working hours, 9am to 5pm, although this will vary slightly from hub to hub. Each one can be reached online or by phone.
Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils
Phone: 01323 679722 (option 1)
Website: Hastings Borough Council
Phone: 01424 451019
Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils
Phone: 01273 099956 (option 1)
Website: Rother District Council
Phone: 01424 787000 (option 4)
Website: Wealden District Council
Phone: 01323 443322
There is more information about these local Community Hubs on the community hubs web page.
I am not in the “extremely vulnerable” category but am trying not to go out as I am over 70 or live with someone who is and don’t want to put myself or them at risk. How can I get my essential supplies?
If you are on your own or need extra support, local community hubs across East Sussex have been set up to provide essentials, food and medication. See above question and answer.
If I don't have access to the internet, how can I access coronavirus aid support. Can Care for the Carers help me to get the support I need?
As a Carer with high risk health conditions and who receives Carers Allowance, I have been told to isolate for 12 weeks. Will I still get paid my Carers allowance if I isolate?
You can still get Carer’s Allowance if you temporarily stop providing care for someone. This means any period when you spend less than 35 hours a week caring for the other person. For example, you could get Carer’s Allowance for up to:
- 12 weeks if either of you go into respite care or hospital
- 4 weeks if either of you go on holiday.
As of 30th March 2020, new regulations allow unpaid carers to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if you have a temporary break in caring, because you or the person you care for gets coronavirus or if you have to isolate because of it. Providing emotional support counts towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.
Will I still get paid Carers Allowance over the next 3 weeks, as we are in Lockdown and I don’t live with the person I care for?
East Sussex Services
What carer services are still operating in East Sussex?
Carers Card emergency plan
Can carers sign up for the emergency plan element of the Carers Card (Carers Respite Emergency Support Service – CRESS) over the phone?
I am taking all safety precautions. If I need to travel to fulfil my caring role but I am stopped, what can I do?
I was having counselling sessions with Care for the Carers but they have been suspended – what happens now?
I’m on the waiting list for counselling - when will I be able to get counselling?
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