Winter can bring multiple added pressures for carers. Not only is the festive season an added financial (and time) burden, but winter can also put the elderly more at risk, putting added pressure on carers and the NHS.
With the added challenge of COVID-19 this year, many carers may be looking at the approaching colder months with some anxiety about keeping yourself safe, as well as the person you care for.
In this article, we’ve covered some tips for tackling winter pressures as a carer, and keeping yourself and the vulnerable safe.
1. Flu jabs
Anyone who receives Carer’s Allowance is entitled to a free flu jab with the NHS.
Flu can be an extremely unpleasant illness, and a serious health risk for the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, so carers coming into contact with these at-risk categories should be taking the added precaution of having a jab yourself to keep those around you safe.
2. Keeping the home warm
Another risk of the winter season for vulnerable people is colder homes – making it easier to catch a chill.
You can instantly increase the amount of heat a home retains by doing simple things like closing the curtains, ensuring a home has adequate insulation, keeping doors closed, and placing rugs over wooden floors.
However, you may also want to look into the Winter Fuel Payment, which is set up for people born on or before 1954 to help the eldery pay their heating bills.
3. Be extra vigilant of any symptoms you have
With coronavirus posing a high risk to those 75 and over, as a carer it is your responsibility to be extra cautious of any symptoms you may have over the winter. What you may once have played down as a slight winter cough should immediately be an indication that a COVID-19 test should be taken to make sure you are not likely to affect any vulnerable people.
Testing is the best way to protect those around us, especially so when you are often around people in the most vulnerable categories.
4. Schedule time for yourself
Caring at any time of the year is a stressful and sometimes isolating responsibility, but the colder, darker months can really magnify those feelings.
Make sure you take a break when you need one – schedule respite care, or organise some time off between yourself, the person you care for, and any other carers that may be able to step in for you.
It’s important to take care of the elderly and vulnerable – but your health is always your priority.
5. Keep healthy
Good nutrition is all the more important during winter. Make sure you are getting (at least) your 5 a day, and eating a varied and colourful diet to keep your body strong and healthy – and able to fight off any winter illnesses that may come your way!
If keeping healthy is difficult due to time constraints, consider asking a family member or close friend to help you with your food shopping or even preparing a few meals to take that extra burden off your hands.
Carers & PAs help individuals with specific needs in numerous aspects of their day to day lives. By providing emotional, physical & mental support, they aim to promote happiness and well-being while enabling those in their care to live life as independently as possible. However, as with any other profession, caring for people is not without risks with many potential scenarios and accidents that can happen.
Our range of Carers Insurance policies protects PAs & their employers from being liable for certain claims that may occur in relation to their work.