COVID-19 – helping informal carers understand what to expect

4 June 2020

COVID-19 helping informal carers understand what to expect if someone they are looking after needs to go into hospital or a home

Click this link to access the leaflet: Looking_after_someone_with_health_conditions_in_a_COVID_19_environment_

Going into hospital or a care home is daunting at the best of times but with the COVID-19 pandemic everything has changed. Whether the admission is because of the coronavirus or another condition, everyone is worried, and the situation around visiting, hygiene and protection and how to communicate with staff has radically altered.

A number of agencies have come together to produce a leaflet to help those looking after someone – whether they see themselves as a carer or not – who may need to go into hospital. There is lots of detailed professional guidance around COVID and loss and bereavement: some quite difficult to understand.

This leaflet comes out of personal experience both of family carers and professionals on the ground. It addresses some of the key issues people who are looking after someone with a health condition have asked, in lay persons language. It will help them to be prepared for the new COVID environment in hospitals or care homes. The situation is rapidly changing, and this advice will be updated as necessary.

The leaflet covers people’s worries about safety in the hospital or a care home, what to take with them if they are admitted and any cultural, dietary, and religious considerations and pastoral support. It also urges people to try and think ahead and be prepared; not just practically but also in terms of planning for difficult decisions such as the end of life care they might want their loved ones to receive. The information can also be useful for family carers when a care home is being considered or care and support is being provided at home with care services.

The leaflet has been prepared collaboratively by the NHS and local authority staff, the Carers Centre and Healthwatch Brighton and Hove with input from other agencies such as Impact Initiatives and Martlets.

Looking_after_someone_with_health_conditions_in_a_COVID_19_environment_

To celebrate everything that informal carers do, the Carers Centre has organised a week of online events running from 8-12 June, with lots of fun and learning sessions but there will be space to discuss some of these issues raised in this leaflet. Have a look on the Carers Centre website or email info@carershub.co.uk  for more information about the Carers Festival.

Fran McCabe, Chair of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove said:

“A number of agencies working together, with all their personal and professional experience, have produced this clear and practical leaflet. Family members and friends of people who have been admitted to hospital or a care home during the COVID pandemic have told us how difficult it has been, especially with not being able to visit, difficulties in keeping in touch and keeping up with care plans. Though, right now, the numbers of people with COVID has reduced, many measures to keep patients safe still remain in place, so we hope this leaflet helps families and friends be prepared and think ahead.”

Tom Lambert, Chief Executive of the Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove:

“During this challenging time, it is crucial that we recognise the role that unpaid family/friend carers take on every day in our community. Supporting carers is so important and the information contained within this leaflet will help to outline what is available to them. As we celebrate Carers Week 2020, we hope that the carers of Brighton & Hove enjoy and benefit from the programme of activities we have on offer”.

www.thecarerscentre.org/coming-up-in-the-carers-festival-online

Press release ends

For further help and advice and to escalate issues of concern contact:

David Liley, Chief Officer, Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

07931 755343, david@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

Fran McCabe, Chair Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

07880 490938, fran@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

The Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove

01273 746 222, info@thecarerscentre.org

Brighton & Hove City Council

07825 862542 (01273 290250), susan.goodwin@brighton-hove.gov.uk

 

Email            office@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

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