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 that you can take to protect yourself and the person you care. This includes:
- only leaving your home except where 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
- observe hand hygiene, clean objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, kettles and phones
- when you sneeze or cough cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. Put any used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- create an emergency plan with the person you care for just in case you get sick. See Support for carers for more information about creating an emergency plan. This will enable the person you care for to know who they can contact if you or they feel unwell
- plan ahead to ensure you and the person you care for can access all the supplies 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
- look 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 go within 2 metres of each other, Camden Council is able to offer PPE if you are unable to source it yourself.
If you have difficulty sourcing the PPE you need please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following information so that your request can be processed 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 requirements and confirm your order. PPE will need to be picked up from Council offices or, if that is not possible, delivery can be arranged.
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. From February until end of June 2021, the government is rolling out an offer of free PPE for Covid-19 needs to unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for.
Please refer to the recommended PPE for unpaid carers which provides details of PPE that a carer needs to wear for a number of different scenarios. Having referred to the above recommended PPE for informal carers, if you do require PPE please email email@example.com and provide the following information so that your request can be processed 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 the PPE has been taken off it should immediately be disposed of in sealed rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. It should be put 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 the person receiving care is in the extremely clinically vulnerable group and the carer is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, contact should strictly be avoided. 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 coronavirus, you should arrange to have a free NHS test to see if you have COVID-19.
If you, or the person you care for, have underlying health care problems which become worse during or after the isolation period you should seek medical advice by either phoning your GP, phoning NHS 111, or visiting https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.