Covid-19 and caring for someone
If you provide unpaid care for a family member or friend who could otherwise not cope without your support, there is national guidance and advice to help you protect yourself and the person you care for. This includes:
- only leaving your home when necessary. This may include: shopping for essential items, going to work, meeting your support bubble, seeking medical assistance or to avoid injury or risk of harm. If you do leave your home, follow social distancing measures and stay 2 metres apart from other people
- washing your hands regularly and cleaning objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, kettles and phones
- covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you sneeze. Put any used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- having an emergency plan for the person you care for just in case you or they get sick. See Support for carers for more information about creating an emergency plan. This will enable the person you care for to get the support they need if you or they feel unwell
- planning ahead to ensure you and the person you care for to get the things they need if you or they become unwell. The section on Practical information for staying at home has lots of useful information about getting food and other essential supplies, and accessing money and practical support
- looking after your own wellbeing and physical health
Carers and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)If you live with the person you provide care for, the national guidance is that you do not need to wear PPE when providing care to a person you live with unless advised to do so, such as by a GP or nurse.
However, if you live with the person you care for and:
- either you or they are coughing or have other Covid-19 symptoms, and
- you need to be within 2 metres of each other, we are able to provide PPE, if you are unable to source it yourself.
If you have difficulty sourcing the PPE you need email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following information so that we can processed your request as quickly as possible:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your contact number
- How much of each item is required: gloves (small, medium, large, extra-large), surgical masks, aprons, eye protection, hand sanitiser.
Once we have received your email, someone will get in contact with you to discuss your requirements and confirm your order. You will need to collect the PPE from Council offices or, if that is not possible, we can arrange for it to be delivered to you.
If you do not live with the person you provide care for, the national guidance is that you should use PPE when providing care to a person you do not live with.
Please refer to the recommended PPE for unpaid carers which provides details of PPE that a carer needs to wear in a number of different scenarios. Having referred to the above recommended PPE for unpaid carers, if you do require PPE email email@example.com and provide the following information so that we can process your request as quickly as possible:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your contact number
- How much of each item is required: gloves (small, medium, large, extra large), surgical masks, aprons, eye protection, hand sanitiser.
How to use PPE
PPE is only effective when it is put on and taken off properly, combined with good hand hygiene and other precautions such as avoiding touching your hands and face.
Once you have taken off the PPE, it should immediately be disposed of in sealed rubbish bags. These bags should be placed inside another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. You should put it aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.
Public Health England have produced some training resources on using PPE:
- downloadable poster on how to wash hands
- poster on putting on PPE
- poster on taking off PPE
- video on how to put on and take off PPE
What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19
If you are caring for a person who is in the clinically extremely vulnerable group and you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, you should avoid contact with them. If alternative care is required by the cared for person, contact Adult Social Care on 020 7974 4000 (option 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information on self-isolating can be found in Coronavirus guidance and what it means. If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should arrange to have a free NHS test to see if you have the virus.
If you, or the person you care for, have underlying health care problems which become worse during or after the self-isolation period you should seek medical advice by either phoning your GP, phoning NHS 111 or visiting https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.