Covid-19 and caring for someone
If you provide unpaid care for a family member or friend who could not otherwise cope without your support, it is important to protect yourself and them, especially if they are over 75 or they are most vulnerable to Covid-19, such as having a weakened immune system.
As we learn to live with Covid-19, below are some ways you can keep yourself and loved ones safe:
- get vaccinated against Covid-19
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
- cover coughs and sneezes
- stay at home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for Covid-19
- meet people outside if possible
- open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- consider wearing a face covering when it is hard to stay away from other people, especially crowded places or indoors
Also, read government guidance on living safely with respiratory infections, including Covid-19.
Carers UK provide updated Covid-19 guidance for carers.
Unpaid carers and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
If you require PPE to provide care for someone with Covid-19, and you are not able to access PPE yourself, 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.
The updated government guidance on PPE for unpaid carers includes information about the kind of PPE you will need if you are:
- providing care for someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
- caring for someone who does not have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and contact with blood or body fluids is likely
- caring for someone who does not have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and contact with blood or body fluids is not likely.
There are still measures in place to protect people in care homes and other social care settings, including the use of PPE in some situations. It is best to seek advice directly from the care provider about measures in place where the person you are caring for is staying. You can also read the government general guidance for adult social care providers.
Using PPE effectivelyPPE 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:
What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19
If you are caring for a person who is most vulnerable to Covid-19 and you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, you should avoid physical contact with them.
If alternative care is required, contact Adult Social Care on 020 7974 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should order a free NHS Lateral Flow test to see if you have the virus.
For advice about Covid-19, including symptoms, testing, vaccination and staying at home, visit the NHS website.