Who is a carer?
Many people don't realise they are a carer. You are a carer if you give up your time without pay, to look after someone, who couldn’t cope without your support. You could be looking after a family member, a partner, a friend, a neighbour who is ill, frail, has a disability or substance dependency. You may support the person you care for with things such as cooking, cleaning, helping to get dressed or emotional support, etc. You may live in the same home as the person you provide care for or you may live in a different home.
Contact Adult Social Care if you have any concerns about providing care
Telephone: 020 7974 4000 (option 1)
Caring for someone during COVID-19
Camden & Islington Public Health have developed guidance to support unpaid carers during this time. It includes: guidance for unpaid carers living with the person they care for, as well as those who live in a different house to the person they provide care for; information on shielding; the types of PPE required; testing and creating an emergency plan. Download a copy of the guidance.
General steps you can take to protect yourself and the person you care for include the following:
- only provide care that is essential
- do not provide care if you are unwell
- you should wash your hands regularly, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or hand sanitiser
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Put any used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- it is recommended that you follow general social distances measures when you are out of the home environment
- it is recommended that you create an emergency plan with the person you care for just in case you get sick (see contingency plan section below)
- 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
- if this is possible, the person you care for should know who they can contact if they feel unwell
- look after your own wellbeing and physical health.
These are only broad steps. For detailed information, including information on caring for someone who is shielding, please look at the Camden & Islington Public Health guidance.
For information about PPE, visit the PPE section on Camden Care Choices. If you live in the same house as the person you provide care for you will not need PPE.
General information on shielding or self-isolating can also be found in the section on coronavirus guidance and what it means.
If you or the person you care for has 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/.
Being a carer during this time can be challenging. There is support available to you. Please see the support for carers section.