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Stay Well This Winter

With the colder and shorter days of the winter months upon us, there is a need to take special care of yourself and the person you care for.

COVID-19 has dominated our lives in the past 18 months, distracting us from the usual winter challenge of the common cold and flu or the financial impact of sustaining winter warmth. These, and many more, are real issues faced by many of us as we head into the winter.

Our winter campaign aims to encourage family and friend carers to Stay Well this winter with three key messages.

Consider boosting your immunity with the flu and Covid-19 vaccines.

Are you up to date with your vaccinations? This year, it is so important we protect ourselves and others against the flu. It is also advisable to attend, when invited, for your COVID-19 Booster jab. The Government has now taken steps to ensure that unpaid carers can get priority access to COVID-19 booster vaccinations. Click here to find out more.

Winter Vaccines Explained

Watch this video which explains why it is more important than ever for you to get your winter vaccines (flu and COVID-19 booster) as soon as possible this autumn as both viruses have the potential to cause serious illness and hospitalisation.

Those eligible, including carers, for the free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster jab are being urged to book an appointment for both vaccines as soon as possible in a new campaign aiming to help people give themselves and their loved ones essential protection this winter.

This comes as new research suggests that adults in England are severely underestimating the combined threat of COVID-19 and flu this winter.

Watch video here.

Contact us for ideas on how to make time for yourself and stay connected.

Are you aware of the range of services on offer to you as a carer?

To make receiving information easy and all in one place for you, we have a dedicated carer response team. Contacting this friendly team is the first step in getting ideas and guidance to suit your situation. We recognise that one size does not fit all, which is why having a chat with the carer team will help you understand what is available to you.

Find out how to get in contact here.

The offer of practical support

Perhaps you are looking for some help with your wellbeing in the form of a gym membership? Using the Carer Health and Wellbeing fund, this could finance your membership. There are so many ways this fund can be applied.

Read more about the service here.

Equipment to help manage caring better

Are you aware we can supply equipment to help and maintain your independence? For example, do you have concerns about the person you are caring for taking medication correctly, or if they are drinking enough fluids? There are equipment solutions for so many situations which will help give you peace of mind.

Read more about the service here.

Carer Groups

There is real benefit in connecting with others who understand what you are going through. Social connection has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Our carer groups are perfect for staying connected. The groups offer a safe and confidential space in which you can either talk or just listen to what others are saying about their caring role.

Read more about the carer groups here.

Time out from your caring role

As a carer, it is vitally important that you take time for yourself, to look after your own health and wellbeing. One way of doing this is to make sure you get opportunities to relax and de-stress. Maybe you just need some time away from your caring role, to get your haircut or even just enjoy ‘me time’. This is something we would help you organise using appropriate channels available throughout West Sussex.

Read more about taking a break here.

Need someone to talk to?

The role of a carer can be an emotional struggle and sometimes things can become overwhelming. While friends and family can be a great support, it’s not always easy to talk to them about emotions. Our counselling service allows you to connect to someone who can listen to your problems, emotions or issues in a secure safe and non-judgemental way.

Read more about counselling for you here.

Are you struggling with the loss of someone you cared for?

At Carers Support West Sussex, we completely understand that everyone will experience loss in their own unique way. However, when trying to endure the feelings of loss and the many complex feelings it evokes, it is important to get a sense of support through connection with others in a similar situation.

We can offer you two options for accessing support, both enabling you to develop self-compassion, gain some tools to support yourself through grief and begin to see a way of facing the future.

Read more about the bereavement service here.

Be in control of your health and wellbeing

Those services mentioned are just some of the ways we can help you to manage your caring role and assist in giving you back control over your health and wellbeing.

Contact us today to find out more or request a carer assessment, which will give you the opportunity to discuss your caring role and how it affects your life.

Plan for events which may affect your caring role and find out if you can get financial support to keep you well and warm.

Have you made a contingency plan to cover unexpected events?

No one knows what lies around the corner. We all like to think that we will always be there for our cared for when needed but sometimes this is not possible for various reasons. You may suddenly become unwell or be injured and be unable to carry out your usual caring role even if you are not in hospital or even a breakdown in care arrangements. Having a contingency plan in place so the person you are caring for is supported at the earliest opportunity while giving you peace of mind there is something in place should unexpected events happen.

For more information about this type of planning, some top tips and a downloadable contingency planning form to make planning easy, read more here.

Get winter ready. Are you aware of financial entitlements you may be able to claim as a carer?

Our Benefits advice service can help improve your financial situation by discussing the carer benefits you may be entitled to. As a registered carer with carers support, you are entitled to a 1:1 appointment with our benefit’s adviser.

Read more about the benefits advice service here.

To see what financial help there is with keeping warm this winter, read this blog post.

Contact us today to find out how we can support you in your caring role throughout the winter months. Remember, we are here for you, no matter what your caring circumstance.