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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

New restrictions have been announced in Charnwood to stop the spread of COVID-19

Tighter rules are needed because cases of the virus are increasing amongst all age groups – particularly young people and those over 60.

Most of Leicestershire is in tier 1 – ‘medium’ risk. Residents in Charnwood and Oadby & Wigston are in tier 2 – ‘high risk’.

You can explore what the new High alert level means.

Coronavirus updates for parts of Leicestershire 

Coronavirus - Guidance for unpaid carers

Guidance for unpaid carers released by the government on 8 April 2020.

If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk of the virus, you can get up to date guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

You can also use the NHS online symptom checker 

If you (or their) symptoms become severe, call 111 and let them know you are a carer.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

    Also see: Frequently Asked Questions about your care, support and direct payments during coronavirus

    Good hygiene advice

    If you are providing essential care for someone, please ensure you are following advice on good hygiene such as:

    • wash your hands on arrival and often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
    • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
    • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
    • do not visit if you are unwell and make alternative arrangements for their care
    • clean surfaces regularly

    Planning for if you, or the person you care for, becomes unwell

    It is also a good idea to speak to the person you care for about what happens if you or they become unwell.

    Think about preparing a contingency plan - there is an emergency planning template on our website if you need some help.

    Testing

    If you do have symptoms you are eligible as an unpaid carer to apply to get a test to see if you have the virus. Find out how to arrange a test.

    Providing care/support for someone who doesn’t live with you

    Prescriptions and shopping

    Think about whether there are alternative ways of getting shopping or medications to them. Contact your local pharmacy to find out if they offer a repeat prescription delivery service if the person you care for is reliant on regular prescription medication.

    Pharmacy delivery services will be under pressure at the moment, so it is important that you order your repeat prescriptions in good time, to avoid delays in dispensing. Information on repeat prescriptions and delivery services may also be available via your GP practice website.

    You can find some companies that might be able to deliver food.

    Support networks

    The Council is recommending people go through VAL (Voluntary Action Leicestershire) in the first instance, as this is the simplest and easiest approach:

    The LLR Prepared website signposts people to sources of help based on where they live – it has three categories: help, advice and volunteering.

    You should also check your district and borough council websites as they are in touch with local community groups who may be able to assist:

    Blaby District Council 

    Oadby Wigston District Council 

    Charnwood Borough District Council

    Harborough District Council

    Hinckley and Bosworth District Council 

    Melton Borough Council 

    North West Leicestershire District Council

    Identification

    If there are no alternatives and you need to keep visiting the person you provide care for, please consider carrying something with you that identifies you as a carer. This could be your Carers Allowance letter, if you claim this, or your carers emergency card, provided by Support for Carers.

    If you do not have an emergency card but live in Leicestershire County and require one, you can contact Support for Carers for a discussion about your caring role and the support they can offer.

    Leicestershire Support for Carers are providing their valuable support while working from home and continue to offer support via the telephone, email, and social media. 

    Telephone: 01858 468 543 

    Email: maureen@supportforcarers.org

    If you are unable to continue to support the person you care for

    If the person you care for is left without essential support, due to you being unwell, and you cannot source support from the links above, or have no other informal support networks to support during this period, please contact Leicestershire County Council Adult Social Care:

    Telephone: 0116 305 0004

    Email: adultsandcommunities@leics.gov.uk

    Emergencies / out of hours

    Telephone the Emergency Duty team on 0116 255 1606 if you need to speak to adult social care outside of normal office hours.

    Clinically vulnerable groups and extremely vulnerable groups

    These terms are used to group those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus infection (COVID-19). These terms may be new to you and it is useful to understand what these mean to you and the person you care for.

    Clinically vulnerable groups

    This group includes:

    • those who are aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
    • those under 70 with a specified, underlying health condition (for adults, this usually means anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
    • pregnant women

    Extremely vulnerable (shielding) groups

    These are people with serious existing conditions - the NHS is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.

    If you think you or the person you care for falls into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed above and you or they have not received a letter or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.

    If you feel that the person you care for is at a higher risk from coronavirus, it is worth considering if you need to prepare a single overnight bag for them.

    An overnight bag should include:

    • their emergency contacts
    • a list of the types of medication they take (including dose and frequency)
    • any details of planned care appointments
    • things you would need for an overnight stay (snacks, pyjamas, toothbrush, medication etc.)
    • an advanced care plan, if they have one

    If somebody else needs to provide care for them all their essentials will be in one place. 

    Visit the government's website for advice for the extremely vulnerable

    Remote support

    Now more than ever as people are required to socially distance or self-isolate, support you can access remotely is really useful.

    Carers UK Digital Resource for Carers (DRC)

    Leicestershire County Council are signed up to Carers UK’s Digital Resource for Carers (DRC) a tool for carers which can be used in any place, at any time and on any device.

    The Digital Resource for Carers (DRC) includes:

    • About Me, our e-learning programme designed to build resilience in caring
    • Health and wellbeing resources
    • Jointly, our care co-ordination app designed to create and support circles of care for people sharing caring
    • Carers UK’s information guides including our Upfront self-assessment tool
    • Being Heard, a self-advocacy toolkit
    • Looking After Someone, our comprehensive guide to the support carers are entitled to
    • Links to local information and support for carers.
    • Link to Carers UK’s own COVID-19 guidance for carers, including support for mental health, and a link to Carers UK’s online forum so that carers can connect and offer each other peer support.

    Create an account using your free access code: DGTL7729

    Looking after yourself

    It is important that you look after your own health and wellbeing as well as supporting others you care for, especially given the likelihood of additional stresses at the current time, including potential for reduced access to support, such as respite care or day service provision, for the person you are supporting.

    Try to ensure you are taking care of your mind as well as your body and getting support if you need it. Daily physical activity is important for health and wellbeing, and a great way of managing stress, and encouraging positive feelings and good sleep. You can find some free useful home workout videos to help you.

    Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

    Leicestershire Support for Carers are providing their valuable support while working from home and continue to offer support via the telephone, email, and social media.

    Tel: 01858 468 543

    Email: maureen@supportforcarers.org

    If you are at home caring for someone with dementia, find a specialist advice and support or call their helpline on 0800 888 6678 for support from dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.

    Additional useful advice and information about looking after your health can be found at Carers UK​.

    Caring for someone with dementia

    If you are at home caring for someone with dementia, specialist advice and support can be accessed via our Dementia Support Service provided by the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Telephone: 0116 231 6921
    Email: leicestershireandrutland@alzheimers.org.uk

    Additional support can be found at Dementia UK.

    You can call their helpline on 0800 888 6678 for support from dementia specialist Admiral Nurses. The helpline is open 7 days a week, 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm at weekends. You can also email helpline@dementiauk.org.

    The Alzheimer’s Society information for people affected by dementia during Coronavirus.

    You can find support for BAME dementia communities amid COVID-19, co-produced by Meri Yaadain, Alzheimer’s Society and BME Health & Wellbeing.

    Find out more about Living with Dementia.

    Supporting those who are finding self-isolating difficult

    Self-isolating can be difficult for us all. For people who do not understand the reasons behind isolating, and indeed their carers, it is likely to be even more difficult.

    You can find some home-based, creative ways to support good mental health during these unique and uncertain times by following the links below:

    Creative Isolation (March Network)
    Support for families during Coronavirus (Disabled Children's Network)
    Support during Coronavirus for families with disabled children (Contact)
    Support with challenging behavriour during Coronavirus (Challenging Behaviour Foundation)

    The Lamp Advocacy is operating a telephone and video link service during the current public health crisis. They support carers across the county and are currently running weekly carers groups via Zoom video link. Tel: 0116 255 6286.

    Additional useful advice and information for carers from Carers UK

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