Caring and Coronavirus


As a carer you may be concerned about how coronavirus will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. We have provided some useful information and guidance below to help you understand the current situation and the support that is available to help you in your caring role.


Last updated: 20 May 2020

Guidance for Carers

Public information and guidance around coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing on a regular basis. We will try to keep all of the information we publish here as accurate and up to date as possible.

Follow Core Public Health Advice

A lot of misinformation is circulating about coronavirus. Make sure you follow advice from reputable sources. We suggest checking the following websites regularly as advice and guidance is changing on a regular basis:

NHS Inform

NHS Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Scottish Government

UK Government

Young Scot

Information on COVID-19 is also available in different languages and formats via NHS Inform:

NHS Inform - Other languages and formats

Shield those at high risk

Shielding is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s also for their family, friends and carers. Shielding measures should be used when an extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes extremely vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities.

Shielding - an essential guide from NHS Lanarkshire.

On 24 March the Scottish Government announced they would provide support to self-isolate if someone is at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This includes including help to access medicine and food supplies.

Click here for more information on Shielding

Take steps to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus at home

This is particularly important if you regularly have people coming into your home to support the person you care for such as care workers or health practitioners. Take a single-person approach where possible when caring for vulnerable friends and relatives. Follow hygiene and infection control guidelines:

Click here for information on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

If you think you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus, take extra precaution around social distancing and check if you have symptoms using the coronavirus symptom checker:

Click here to check your symptoms

Plan for emergencies and have contingency plans in place

If you have not done so already, consider having an emergency plan and/or anticipatory care plan in place for the person you care for:

Click here for more information on Emergency Planning

Click here for more information on Anticipatory Care Planning

Ensure you have key information to hand about the person you care for. It might be worth writing down some vital details such as their medical conditions, medications they take, what they like and dislike etc in case someone needs to assist with the caring role.

If you are unable to provide essential care for someone, you should contact your local social work department for support. If a formal provision of care is already in place it might be worth checking with the care provider or the local authority what their contingency plans are.

Make the most of your support networks

Ensure family, friends, the organisations and community resources you engage with are aware of your circumstances and are available to assist if needs be.

Many local and national organisations are helping with the current challenges that people, communities and our health and care services are facing:

Support for Community and Voluntary Organisations in North Lanarkshire

COVID-19 Community Wellbeing Line (South Lanarkshire)

SCVO Community Assistance Directory

Use technology to keep in touch

Consider using technology to keep in touch with others rather than meeting in person, particularly if people are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

If you are working, make sure your employer knows you are a carer

Check to see if your employer has any plans in place for staff affected by coronavirus. Check what your employment rights are:

Click here for more information on your employment rights

If you are struggling financially

Speak to the people and organisations you owe money to, many are acknowledging the current situation and may be able to help. Visit the Citizens Advice Scotland website for more advice if you can't pay your bills because of coronavirus:

Click here if you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus

Be sensible and consider others

Panic buying, stock piling, attending your GP practice or the hospital unnecessarily or ignoring coronavirus advice can put the most vulnerable and subsceptible people in our society at risk.

If you are experiencing anxiety, low mood or other mental health issues in relation to COVID-19

NHS Lanarkshire Psychological Services is operating a new telephone helpline, offering psychological support and advice to people across Lanarkshire during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Anyone contacting the service will be assessed during the initial call and offered appropriate advice, signposting and support. This can include access to computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) if required. If further help is needed, this can be arranged during the call. The public distress COVID-19 helpline can be contacted by calling 01698 687567. 


Access to testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Unpaid Carers

Unpaid carers have been included in the priority groups of key workers who are able to access testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19), if they are symptomatic or have household members who are symptomatic. 

If you are an unpaid carer, you can find further information on eligibility and access to testing on the Scottish Government website:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Unpaid Carers

Lanarkshire Carers Centre can assist eligible unpaid carers to access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through local distribution hubs in North and South Lanarkshire. If you require PPE and need assistance to access this via your local distribution hub, please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550. More information on when PPE is required can be found on the Scottish Government website:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-unpaid-carers-providing-personal-care/pages/overview/

 


Support for Carers

In the interests of carers, the people they care for and our staff, Lanarkshire Carers Centre has taken necessary measures to help delay the spread of coronavirus which has impacted some of our services. We are still available to support you with your caring role. Our staff are engaging with carers who regularly use our services, phoning them to check in, updating and offering emotional support, talking to, listening to and helping carers. We are also contacting carers who haven’t engaged with us for a while. Here is a list of the services we currently offer:

Telephone Support 

All our staff are available for carers via telephone during office hours if you need information, advice or support with your caring role. Please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550.

Online Carer Training

We have scheduled a number of online training opportunities for carers, which are available on our website. Further training opportunities will be published in due course and if you have any suggestions for training that may benefit you, please feel free to complete our training needs analysis form under the 'Future Training' section:

Click here to view our Carer Training Opportunities

Legal Telephone Appointments

You can arrange a 20 minute telephone appointment with a solicitor to discuss guardianship, power of attorney and will-writing. Please complete the following form and we can arrange an appointment for you:

Request a Telephone Legal Appointment

If you experience any difficulties using this form, please contact us on 01236 755550/01698 428090.

Short Breaks Bureau

We can provide carers with information on opportunities to take a short break from their caring role, including grant funding and other useful resources that may help:

Click here to view our Short Breaks Bureau page

Short Breaks may need to be rearranged by carers who have already accessed opportunities or funding from us to take a break from caring. If you need to talk to us about rearranging your break or accessing short break opportunities, please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550.

Care Talk

Our Care Talk service provides a weekly telephone call to carers. This regular, friendly call can help carers feel less isolated and provides contact for further support when required. This service is available in a range of languages including English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. 

Carer Registration Card

Carer Registration Card applications can be submitted online however we are currently unable to post any physical cards. If you have recently applied and are awaiting receipt of your card, we will issue this to you as soon as our centres reopen. If you have an email address and a smartphone, we can issue you with an e-card to display your card electronically. Please contact us on 01698 428090/01236 755550 and we can arrange for an e-Card to be issued.

Click here for more information on our Carer Registration Card

Online Support

You can request and access support from us online via our website and on social media. Follow us on facebook and twitter to stay up to date or sign up to our electronic mailing list


Other Useful Resources

The Scottish Government has also issued issued specific advice for carers:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for unpaid carers: March 2020

UK Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family:

UK guidance for unpaid carers

NHS Lanarkshire Psychological Services has produced very useful guidance around managing anxiety:

Managing anxiety in the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic (pdf)

Some other helpful information for carers in Lanarkshire can be found below:

Stay At Home - A guide for people with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Free School Meal Provision - Club 365 (North Lanarkshire)

Free School Meal Provision (South Lanarkshire)

Resources for autistic people and families (The National Autistic Society)


We are here to support you with your caring role and will keep you up to date with any relevant information or changes as things progress. Please make sure your contact details are up to date with us in case we need to contact you. If your details have changed recently, please contact us on 01698 428090 / 01236 755550 and we will update our records. 

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