Jacqui Darlington, local Carers UK volunteer and Healthwatch Rutland vice-Chair, writes a regular monthly newsletter for carers with lots of information and support resources. Jacqui and her son Joshua recently featured in a video created by Mobilise Online and shown on BBC One News and BBC Breakfast, about the impact of COVID-19 on unpaid carers. The video is very powerful and shows in just 6 minutes how the lives of carers and the person they care for, have changed during lockdown.
Mobilise Online offer a useful blog, and bring together carers online for supportive chats and to share practical tips and tricks. They are running ‘virtual cuppa’ sessions that you can sign up to here. Carers can come together at the same time to have a live conversation on-screen, and you can also discuss what’s going on via a ‘chat’ function.
Other Local support in Rutland
If you need support or urgent help please call Council’s Crisis Helpline on 01572 729 603. It’s open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, including bank holidays
Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland have a local helpline to offer practical and emotional support to those over 50, whether you are a carer looking after someone else, or live alone. To contact the helpline, call 0116 299 2239.
Rutland Community Ventures have short stories and creative activity videos on their website for people living with Dementia and their carers.
Staff from the Carers Centre for Leicestershire and Rutland are offering a telephone support service. Phone lines are open and they can be contacted on 0116 2510 999 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A virtual, text-based self-help group has been set up on Facebook to help replace regular meetings, and this will be followed soon by online meetings. You can join the Facebook group here.
Nationally, Carers Uk are providing up to date information for carers and has lots of useful advice and resources on their website including your rights and entitlements during the crisis, emergency planning, benefits and welfare, looking after your health and wellbeing and much more. This is an excellent set of resources for all carers gathered in one place and easy to understand.
Government guidance for carers
In April, the government provided guidance for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member with a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction.
It includes links to specific advice if you are caring for someone who is clinically ‘extremely vulnerable’ (who should have received a letter from the government, their GP or a specialist.)
The guidance also provides practical information such as finding alternative care quickly if you’re unable to continue caring and what to do if you or the person you care for has symptoms.
In addition, the government has now included unpaid carers in its list of essential workers and those prioritised for COVID-19 testing in England.