Coventry Carers Bulletin - March 2020

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Coventry Carers' bulletin


Welcome to this month's Carers' Bulletin.  Over the last month life as we know it has changed dramatically and we could not forsee the impact that the Coronavirus would have on our lives. Firstly I wanted to start by saying that we know that the impact of this crisis is going to fall heavily onto unpaid carers, whilst people have to self-isolate within their families and we must do all we can to shield those who are most vulnerable. Secondly we do not want anyone to feel alone or put themselves at risk through this period because of their caring role.

The one thing I want to reassure you with is that there has been an absolutely enormous amount of goodwill and sheer willingness to support the most vulnerable during this time.  We have seen the NHS volunteer drive reach 1/2 million within 24 hours. As a local authority we have seen a huge amount of people wanting to offer their support, our voluntary organisations are looking at new ways of working with people and are trying to adapt to new and differing demands and local businesses are thinking of innovative ways in which they can support. 

There is quite a lot of detail in today's bulletin, so I'm sorry if it's information overload but we thought it was important to convey as much information to you as we think will be helpful during these uncertain times. 

It doesn't go without saying that we want to give a massive thank you to all carers out there that are helping in this battle.

Coronavirus Advice

Frequently Asked Questions - Carers

As it stands the advice is clear that from Monday 23 March, we must all stay at home to reduce the risk and spread of the virus. However many carers are asking how they can now provide support to a loved one. In addition to this advice those who are most vulnerable have been written to by the government and have been asked to take additional precautions to shield themselves from the virus and their carers.  

Can I still visit the person I care for?

Yes. The government measures state that you can leave your house to provide care or help for a vulnerable person, including an elderly person. But it is critical that you only visit this person if the care you are providing is absolutely essential and you must not visit if you are displaying symptoms yourself or anyone else you have been in close proximity to. Essential care means activities such as washing the person, administering medication, making sure the person is safe, dressing and preparing meals and drinks.

If the person you care for doesn't have immediate care needs avoid entering their home. You can still provide support by offering to do shopping and picking up essential items like prescriptions during this time. But it’s important that you do not enter the property and you leave items in the doorway. You could have a chat through a window and make sure you keep in regular contact by phone. 

You might also want to think of equipment that might help the person you care for manage independently during this time. The Carers Trust Heart of England can offer information and advice about equipment - 024 7663 2972.

I live with the person I care for, how do I keep us safe? 

The best thing you can do is to both to stay at home during this period of time, this will minimise the risk of infection to you and person you care for.

If it’s not an option for you to remain at home during this time for example you are a key worker, make sure your employee knows your set of circumstances. They may be able to consider adjustments to your role to help you to continue to care.

Plan an online shopping delivery or ask a friend or relative to pick up the essentials for you. Remember you can still go out and buy essential items if necessary but you will want to minimise how many times you do this.

Take additional precautions within the household, such as wiping down surfaces.

I live with the person I care for, what happens if either of us display symptoms?

The government advice now is to initially consult the website this will direct you to the next steps.

Do not visit the GP or the hospital/walk-in centre if you think you have symptoms.

There is guidance on the government website about living with vulnerable adults when symptoms might be present in a household. There are also rules around self-isolation when symptoms are present within a household.

I provide essential care for my relative, what happens if I start to display symptoms?

You must not continue to provide care during this period of time as this might place you and the person you care for at risk.

If you do not live with the person you care with, consider any other friends or relatives that can provide the support you ordinarily provide but these cannot be people that you have been in close contact with or display symptoms.

If you do live with the person you care for you need to consider the safest options within the household to maintain distance. This may be hard to do in practice and you might need to explore other living arrangements. The government has advice on this on their website.

You can still keep in touch with the person you care for and consider making regular phone calls.

If there is no-one who can provide support during this time then we recommend you contact Adult Social Care direct on 024 7683 3003 and they will explore with you what essential support is required.  

How can I plan if our situation changes?

Our recommendation is that you try and plan for any changes in your circumstances now.  This might be writing down key contacts and collating a list of the medication the person you care for is taking.

The Carers Trust Heart of England – Carers Response and Emergency Support Service (CRESS) are encouraging all carers to register with this service during this time. They can help you discuss your wider support networks and write a contingency plan if your situation is to change. They can also provide care for a period of up to 72 hours if you are unable to provide care due to a medical emergency such as a hospital admission, this will help others plan for longer term support. You can contact them on 024 7625 8816 option 1.

The person I care for receives paid care? What will happen?

If you are receiving care provided either by the Local Authority, the NHS or support you organise privately then you may have already received communication around this. Adult Social Care are maintaining essential care during this period of time. There may be some changes to arrangements for care, for example if the person ordinarily takes the person you care for out they will no longer be able to do this. Some services have had to be temporarily postponed such as day activities and respite provision, this is to adhere to government guidance.

If people provide care within your home they will be taking additional precautions, such as washing their hands when they enter and leave your property, it’s important you allow them to do this.

If anyone within the household is unwell and displaying symptoms you must let the care provider know so that they can take all necessary precautions to reduce any risks. You must do this in advance of them visiting.

If you’ve decided you’d rather provide the support yourself during this time, please tell your care provider immediately and then inform Coventry City Council, by contacting Adult Social Care direct on 024 7683 3003 or

The person I care for doesn’t understand what’s going on, how do I help them?

This is a really difficult question and one that is not easy to answer. We know that for a lot of people they will not understand the precautions that need to be taken, so might struggle with the idea of staying at home or not following their usual routine. We’ve found some good guidance that might help:

  • MENCAP – Have produced easy read version of guidance around COVID-19
  • Dementia UK – Have collated some FAQs on their website
  • Mental Health – Rethink have issued guidance for carers of adults with severe mental illness.
  • Younger Adults and children – MIND have some simple information on their website

Update from the Carers Trust Heart of England

Carers Trust Heart of England

The Carers Trust Heart of England continues to offer support to carers during this difficult time however are unable to provide face to face information and advice.  They are able to provide telephone advice and can continue to offer carers assessments over the phone and by Skype call. 

The Carers Trust are keen to support as many people as needed during this period of time and welcome any new carers or people who may have previously not requested any support. It may have be that your situation has changed recently and you need to speak to someone to know your rights as a carer. To help with this the Carers Trust have extended their availability until 8pm in the evening.  You can contact them on 024 7663 2972.

New online support group for Coventry Carers - Coventry Carers coronavirus support

The Carers Trust have had to postpone all of their face to face groups but for those of you who like to keep in touch they have established an online carers' support group.  The group is staffed and it is a closed group so that the discussion can be private. 

Carers COVID

Get registered with CRESS to help plan for an emergency

Now is the time, if you haven't done it already to register with the Carers' Response Emergency Support Service.  

The CRESS service will help a carer write a contingency plan, identifying all the people in that person’s support network that can help and if the person has limited support they are able to provide up to 72 hours worth of free care.  

Any unpaid carer can register with the service but it’s essential that you are registered with the service if you require the support.  

You can register by contacting  024 7625 8816 option 1 or by visiting the website and downloading the referral form and sending to


Managing your own mental health during this time

Phone overload

This can be an anxiety provoking period of time for everyone and whilst it may be consuming the day job we're also experiencing the same worries and concerns at home. Our top tips for managing this are:

  • Don't continually check the news - perhaps pick two times a day where you check in - and make sure it's a reliable source
  • Just check for guidance and recommendations from a reliable source, such as or NHS websites
  • Speak to others about your worries and concerns
  • Where possible try and get some exercise, periods away from screens and the computer.
  • Keep connected to friends and relatives. 
  • Maintain your similar routine including your regular sleep routine
  • For more information you can visit Every Mind Matters for National Guidance.  

Young Carers Project moves online

Young carers activity has been postponed during this time but the Young Carers Project are still delivering services and have set up an online group through Facebook to support Young Carers during this difficult time. Staff will be there to support and moderate every session and the sessions are strictly by invite only.  Contact details below:

Young Carers Chat room

Have you had to take on additional caring responsibilities recently? Would you benefit from any online training?

Me Learning

We know that in these circumstances a lot of people may have suddenly been expected to take on caring responsibilities that they would not ordinarily do and during this time usual group based training courses are no longer available. If you have found yourself taking on additional care which means you feel like you may require some training we're opening up our online training to all informal carers.  This includes:

  • Manual Handling
  • Infection Control
  • Medication Management
  • Pressure Sore management (coming soon)

If you wish to undertake any training you can do so by contacting They will set up an online account for you and will provide you with log in details.

Getting food shopping during this time

Advice from the government is that you can leave your house to complete essential shopping but we know for many they may not be able to get out of the house or they may feel anxious about going to the supermarket. 

Supermarkets have been trying to put in measures to make sure that those who are most vulnerable and healthcare staff are prioritised in terms of shopping but we're still hearing reports that it's difficult to get online shopping slots.  What do we know:

Online priority for vulnerable adults

  • Sainsbury's online shopping are trying to prioritise the most vulnerable with their online delivery service.
  • Iceland are also trying to prioritise vulnerable and elderly adults.

Local grocery delivery

Many local grocery delivery services are now taking orders for deliveries across Coventry. Good Neighbours have helpfully compiled a list of those organisations they know of providing deliveries.

Libraries still have a lot to offer

Borrow Box

Coventry libraries may have closed but they still have loads to offer and you can still join online.

Access books and audio books for free, online.

Available 24/7 on your own device, everyone can access our free e-book and e-audiobook service Borrowbox, where you can browse the catalogue and download items all for free.


Keep up with the latest news for free, online

Access our free e-newspaper service Pressreader, where you can browse and download local, national and international titles as well as titles in other languages all for FREE, available 24/7 on your own device.

Support pupils while they are away from school

Access our fantastic e-resource Britannica Library, which has age-appropriate material from the child-friendly database through to the adult learning collection. New students of all ages will find it easy to conduct research, complete homework assignments and work on special projects.

Not already a member of Coventry Libraries?

Join online at

University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire - Update


Online Support - that can help....

Care Companion

We are recommending everyone who has caring responsibilities to register with Care This online support platform is being regularly updated to provide trusted information and advice to help you cope through the COVID-19 pandemic, including personalised resources tailored to support the needs of you and the person you care for.

Care Companion

Care We Share

Care We Share is an easy-to-use platform, to help you ensure that your vulnerable loved ones are getting the right support.

Whatever their level of need, you can have peace of mind, knowing that they’re being cared for.

Use Care We Share to co-ordinate the help and support you, your friends and family are providing – for the benefit of everyone:

  • Co-ordinate shopping needs
  • Organise care slots and tasks, so there are no gaps
  • Share the workload to fit in with other commitments
  • Manage medical and hospital appointments
  • Arrange leisure activities

Communicate more easily with your network, replacing countless calls and texts.

Care We Share

Healthy Lifestyles Service - Best You - Coventry Carers

The Healthy Lifestyles Service have created their own online Carers Resource to support carers with their own health and making positive lifestyle choices.  The service includes information on smoking cessation, eating healthy and feeling well. 

Best You Coventry Carers

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