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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information, advice and support for informal carers

  1. Caring for friends and family during the coronavirus
  2. Caring for adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults
  3. Young carers and young adult carers
  4. Clinically extremely vulnerable people
  5. Advice if you have care workers and other home help
  6. South Tyneside Covid-19 Support Hub
  7. Getting vaccinated
  8. Proving you are a carer
  9. Local support organisations for informal carers
  10. Other support
  11. Some useful tips

If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer direct guidance through their online coronavirus helpline. Call 111 if your (or their) symptoms become severe, and let them know you are a carer.

Caring for friends and family during the coronavirus

See the government guidance, GOV.UK: Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family

Caring for adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

See the government guidance, GOV.UK: Providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Young carers and young adult carers

See the government guidance:

Clinically extremely vulnerable people

See the guidance for Clinically extremely vulnerable people

Advice if you have care workers and other home help

Visits from people who provide essential support such as healthcare, personal support with daily needs or social care should continue. 

Carers, like yourself, and paid care workers must stay away if you / they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus. 

See the government guidance on providing home care

For more information see GOV.UK: Guidance for those under 25 who provide care for someone

South Tyneside Covid-19 Support Hub

If you are isolated in South Tyneside without any means of support, call the COVID-19 Community Support Hub (support for most at risk).

See more about support for people in South Tyneside.

Getting vaccinated

In December the vaccination programme started, with those considered most at risk being contacted first.

Unpaid carers have been added to the vaccination priority list (UK wide) - group 6. For more information see Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination: advice from the JCVI, 30 December 2020.

This also includes those who get a carer's allowance, or those who are the main carer of a person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

Proving you are a carer

Some people are worried about having to prove they are a carer during the pandemic in order to travel and show they are exempt to certain rules.

South Tyneside Adult Carers Service can now issue you with a Carers ID card. For more information, contact them on 0191 406 1531, or see the South Tyneside Adult Carers Service facebook page.

You can also contact your GP or your local NHS Trust. If the person you are looking after is under their care, you could register as a carer (if you haven't already) and request a standard letter that identifies you as a carer.

Local support organisations for informal carers

Adult Social Care Let's Talk Team - if you or the person you care for have social care needs
Tel: 0191 424 6000

National Dementia Connect support line - dementia advisers will listen and give you the support and advice you need, including coronavirus advice, connecting you to help you need. Phone support is available seven days a week.
Tel: 0333 150 3456
Support line opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 8pm
  • Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Dementia Talking Point -  an online community where anyone who is affected by dementia can receive valuable support. It's free, open day or night, and can be accessed online.
Web: www.alzheimers.org.uk/what-talking-point

For more local support organisations for informal carers see, Support services for carers.

Other support

Decision Aid 

Decision Aid is a guide to support to help carers when making quick decisions during this difficult time.

The guide covers a number of decisions carers may need to make if the person they are caring for has or is suspected to have COVID-19.

For more information and to access the Decision Aid guide, go to Decision Aid

Community laundry service

Laundry service, including a collection and delivery service, for elderly and disabled people.

For more information contact 0191 489 1701 or see Community Laundry Service

Carers allowance easement

DWP has introduced two important temporary measures to help unpaid carers through the current emergency.

  1. Unpaid carers will be able to continue to claim Carer's Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets Coronavirus or if they have to isolate because of it. Under normal rules there are restrictions on breaks in care, but these have been lifted.
  2. Providing emotional support rather than just more traditional forms of care to a disabled person will also now count towards the Carer's Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.

Council Tax 

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, you can apply for help towards your Council Tax costs by applying for Council Tax Support.

Paying your rent for South Tyneside Homes Tenants

If you are having difficulty paying your rent or have experienced a reduction in income as a result of coronavirus please call South Tyneside Homes on 0300 123 6633.

Please remember that you can also pay your rent by calling the 24 hour automated payment line on 0300 456 0501. For all the latest advice see South Tyneside Homes

Food banks

The Council has increased its support to food banks.

Some useful tips

Staying connected

Information on how to stay connected during the coronavirus can be found at GOV.UK: Guidance for those under 25 who provide care for someone

Create a backup plan

Have a backup plan in case you become unwell and need to self-isolate.

If you do not have any other family or friends who can help you provide support to the person you care for, you can contact Adult Social Care Let's Talk Team on 0191 424 6000 who will be able to help you and assess any social care needs you or the person you care for might have.

Create an emergency plan

As a carer you need to know that if an emergency happens, replacement care will get sorted out quickly and efficiently.

Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future, or if you have to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

You can find out more about creating an emergency plan on:

Think about whether there are alternative ways of getting shopping to the person / people you care for. Trusted neighbours or local support groups such as Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK group could help with this.

You could sign up to a repeat prescription delivery service if the person you care for needs regular prescription medication. For further guidance see NHS: Echo app.

If informal arrangements fall through, you can contact the Adult Social Care Let's Talk Team who can arrange for an assessment for the person you look after or a carer's assessment for yourself. Call 0191 424 6000.

Technology

If someone you're caring for lives at a distance, technology can help you keep in touch and alert you to any problems.

You can use Facetime or Skype as a way to talk face to face, though at a distance.

There is also technology that can help with particular tasks, in case you can't be around, such as managing taking medication.

For more information on technology contact the Let's Talk Team on 0191 424 6000

Carers Emergency Support Service - Emergency card scheme

The Carers Emergency Support Service is for informal carers who provide a substantial amount of care and support to a vulnerable adult. It can provide replacement care when you (their carer), are unavailable for short periods. This service is free of charge to all carers.

Examples of an emergency include:

  • Carer's admission to hospital or other health needs which stops them from continuing to provide care.
  • GP or hospital appointment at short notice
  • Family emergency or crisis such as a close relative becoming ill and requiring help / attention
  • Real risk to the carer's employment on a particular occasion
  • Funeral of a close friend or relative
  • Carer at significant risk of breakdown

For more information about this scheme and how to register, see Carers emergency support service.

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