Somerset Carers Newsletter Issue 7

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Somerset Carers Newsletter

Issue Seven: Summer 2021 @somersetcarers

In this issue....

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Carers Week 2021 Carers Groups reopening! Somerset Partnership: Caring for those with mental health problems Carers Case Studies Bereavement Support Deaf Awareness Courses Looking After You Talking Cafes are BACK! Care Home Visits Return of equipment for Caring What to do in an Emergency form MS Society Support: Mendip Coronavirus, Caring & Coping: One Parent Carers Story Useful Contacts


Carers Week Carers Week 2021 campaigned for Carers to be able to take the breaks they need. Millions of carers have gone to extraordinary lengths over the past year to look after and support those they care for, with many caring around the clock without any meaningful breaks. They are exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during the pandemic. page/81977/-/1 Use this simple form to contact your MP and ask them to publicly recognise unpaid carers and the urgent need to increase funding for carers’ breaks.

Carers Week 2021:

Making Carers Visible & Valued Carers Week is over for another year, and in case you missed it we wanted to give you a round up of our week. But for us, every week is Carers Week!

Watch and share our video on unseen Carers - we want to reach many more Carers in Somerset and many don’t recognise themselves as one - maybe because they don’t like the label, or maybe because in their mind they are ‘Just’ taking care of a partner, child, parent, friend or neighbour.

Please share our short film Facebook: Twitter: YouTube:

Catch up on our Talking Cafe live sessions from Carers Week - all on unpaid Carers in Somerset, available on Facebook & YouTube

8th June - Sedgemoor Locality Manager Lauren Giddins - was joined by Val Tullett, an unpaid carer who talked about her experiences looking after her husband Peter, who has dementia. Lauren also discusses how Village Agents offer support to Carers & their families through our service Somerset Carers.

9th June Talking Cafe with Village Agent Jane Lillis - Continuing with a focus on #CarersWeek2021, Jane discusses the importance of Carers looking after their own wellbeing, what support groups are available in Somerset post lockdown, and where to go for condition-specific advice.

10th June Talking Cafe with HomeFirst Agent Russell Pearce #CarersWeek2021 & Russell explores the important subject of respite for Carers and is also joined by Reminiscence Learning who share their programmes of support available for those caring for someone with dementia.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust - Carers Service Do you care for someone with a mental health condition?

Did you know you are able to get a carers assessment and support from Somerset Foundation Trusts Carers Service?

To be eligible you must be providing care to someone that is known to Somerset’s NHS mental health services (this may be the crisis team, community mental health services or the memory assessment service).

What to expect?

After we have received your referral a member of the team will make contact with you to offer a carers assessment, this is not an assessment of how well you are doing, we know you are doing a great job! The aim of the assessment is to look at how the caring role impacts your life, understand more about the areas you would like support and provide information and guidance on this.

Below are some of the other things we may be able to offer you:         

Signposting on how to access benefits and benefit support.

Help getting a break, holiday or respite (alone or with the cared for person) Refer to befriending services

Help with accessing advocacy services Education sessions

Peer support via groups

A listening ear in times of crisis and carer strain Young Carers Rucksacks

Supporting to access other services which may be of help (eg Ot, ASC, Open mental health)

How can I self-refer or find out more? Email: Call: Caroline Mead (Carers Development Manager) – 07774 207458 or Samantha Pike (Deputy Manager) - 07810186741

Where do you look for information? Looking for information on the support available to you or someone you know in Somerset? Sometimes there’s TOO much information… We want to provide a clearer picture and make it easier to find the information you need. But first, in order to help you, we need to hear your voice! Hit the link for our survey to let us know how we can support you or volunteer to be involved. To find out more visit

New! Self-Assessment Equipment Service

Urgent appeal: Return of Community Healthcare Equipment

A new digital self-assessment service has been launched to help people access the equipment they need without needing an in-person assessment. Visit:

Millbrook Healthcare have launched an urgent appeal to request the return of any of community healthcare equipment that is no longer needed. The priority is hospital beds, mattresses, bed rails and bumpers, hoists, overbed tables and 4 wheeled walkers, which are in very short supply, both locally and nationally.

Please note: This does not replace a person’s right to an assessment should this be considered necessary. For more info, watch the video:

If you are aware of any equipment that is currently not required, please contact Millbrook urgently somersetcontactus@ or phone 0333 003 2407.

Would you like to work in health & social care?

Do you know someone who could work in health and social care? Help us spread the word. With widespread redundancies across the UK, more and more people are taking up jobs in health and social care – people from a huge variety of backgrounds. These jobs offer good job security in a time of economic uncertainty as well as being really rewarding – truly being able to make a difference in people’s lives. An offer of help to get started: Prepare to Care with Yeovil College - The opportunity to learn about health and care before applying and achieve a qualification to prepare people in the best possible way. With no cost involved, and no risk should they discover this isn’t quite for them. Please can you share our offer with anyone you know who might be interested? For more info, email: For job opportunities in Somerset visit: and

Meet other Carers: Online & In Person

It is fantastic that groups are reopening across the county, offering Carers much needed respite and a place to go for support from people who really understand the challenges of being a Carer. Below and on the following pages are some of the support available that we know of, both in person and online. If you know of any more please do let us know! Carer UK’s online forum which is there 24/7 for members. Carers can join Carers UK for nothing. Care for a Cuppa - weekly online chats with other Carers: Share & Learn: a series of fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers share tips and skills on a range of topics. From yoga to singing, and first aid to photography, there’s something for everyone. New sessions are added every week so keep an eye on the page for more! Alziemers Society has a weekly virtual singing for the brain and can arrange companion callers for Carers and people living with dementia. Contact Somerset Team on 01458 251541

Carers Groups

Castle Cary Carers Group First Wednesday of the month 10.30am - 12pm at the Shambles Memory Cafe All Saints Church Hall Castle Cary - but please check in with the Surgery health coaches with regards to numbers! Carers Group Monks Yard, Ilminster: Check with Cath Holloway on 07968 521 746 in advance for dates and spaces available as numbers are limited. Coffee Pot plus Memory Café The Silver Street Centre, Wiveliscombe, every Wednesday 10.30am to 12pm

Carers Support Groups with Spark Somerset

Would you like to connect with other Carers, to share ideas and thoughts, support each other and find out useful information? Join us for a fortnightly carers online support group where carers from across Somerset can come together in an informal and friendly setting and chat with others. We’ll be alternating the time of the groups to make sure all carers are able to access support during a time of uncertainty from the pandemic.

The next meetings:

Monday 21st June 7pm  Monday 5th July 11am

Please use the link below to register for the group meetings

The Filo Project is a ground-breaking not for-profit organisation offering high quality adult day care. Our service supports elderly individuals who are socially and intellectually isolated, most of whom are experiencing symptoms associated with moderate dementia, including memory loss. A day with The Filo Project begins when clients are collected from their own home by a host. The clients spend the day in the host’s home between the approximate hours of 10am-4pm. Group sizes are small, generally a maximum of 4. The intimate home environment is key; no client is subsumed by a large group and confidence is gently nurtured. Moreover, the small group size gives the time and space for people to feel at ease, to flourish and to form friendships. Apart from having a home-cooked lunch, what occurs in each group varies and is dependent on who is in a group and what the capacities and personalities are. It is a bespoke service. However, the focus of any day, for any group, is to provide the opportunity for high quality social interaction.

DAY CARE HOST We are looking for intelligent, versatile and empathetic hosts. Hosts will be required, in their own homes, to meaningfully occupy and engage with a maximum of four older people who may be socially isolated and experiencing symptoms associated with moderate dementia, including memory loss. • Hosts require a full driving license, downstairs W/C and access to a five-door car • Experience isn’t essential however, hosts must be; a good listener, gentle, able to ‘read’ people well and be understanding • Full training is provided • A DBS check is undertaken prior to work commencement. Hosts enjoy excellent rates of pay and ongoing training.

at the heart of s ’ l a i c o ocial ‘s g n i t car For more information e P ut

visit call 0333 939 8225 or email

Bereavement Support Somerset Suicide Bereavement Support Service are delighted to be able to offer those who have been bereaved or affected by suicide the opportunity to get support in person.

They’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure they have a safe space to meet & know how important it is after all this time having been limited to only virtual connection. They will have an in-person outreach surgery where they will be offering a limited number of 1-2-1 support sessions, and a facilitated peer group session, and have information/leaflets available. Where & When: Bridgwater, 2nd Monday of the Month - next session - 12th July Call for more details: 01823 334906

Email: 24 hour helpline: 0300 330 5436 Dr. Tara Ferriola recently published a guidebook that is a great resource for school-aged kids with parents who are terminally ill. “Love Legacy: A guidebook for families anticipating the death of a parent" hopes to help families through a parent's illness and death by providing interactive activities to maintain connections, continue the parent's memories after death, and ease the transitions. As a mental health professional, she knows the importance of helping kids with healthy grieving and this guidebook aims to assist with that before the parent dies.

Bereavement Support: The Loss Project

The Loss Project is a community interest company founded in August 2019 and is growing a collective of facilitators; academics; designers; artists; technologists; and experts by experience; who collaborate to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo of how we deal with and support people with issues relating to grief and loss. The Loss Project aims to generate a community response to loss by connecting people in local communities through their experiences of grief, loss and trauma, in whatever form they come in. They put people with lived experience first, whilst building capacity, awareness, confidence for them to support themselves and each other. Through training, workshops, and bespoke creative community programmes, they aim to support communities to become more open and connected. Since August 2019, they have worked with more than 200 people predominantly through a range of facilitated training and workshops via organisations across the third and public sector, including the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Applied Arts Scotland and Big Local Trust, Death Positive Libraries, as well as community workshops and projects. They have also recently run a collaborative creative project with Rooted by Design and Canopy to run a creative film-based project ‘The Dark is Bright’ for people with lived experience of grief and different losses to share their reflections and ideas and grief, hope and the future. Find out more & check out their latest events here:

Case Study: Carers Fatigue

Kirsten Rushby Village Agent

CCS Village Agent Kirsten pulled together the right services to help a pair of elderly siblings who could no longer care for their sister. The Situation A referral came from a Cheddar GP who had been contacted by a a relative of a registered patient. Two siblings (A & B) both in their late 70’s/early 80’s, currently provides care and support, shopping, cleaning & taking the rubbish out for the patient Sibling C. C has been profoundly deaf from birth, has learning disabilities, is reclusive and resentful of childhood separation having been sent away to a specialist school at a young age. A & B have long term health conditions, and were struggling with the emotional stress, guilt and worry of not being able to provide enough support C, and could not see how they would manage in the future.

The Village Agents Role Kirsten visited C with A & B present, although C was not keen to engage. She assessed C’s living environment and observed many boxes of cat food in all rooms, many bags of scrap books that she fills, but worryingly, the cat which has been dead for over a year was still next to her bed, but C would reportedly be very distraught if it were to be moved. Kirsten reported back to the GP, then decided on the best course of action, was in making areferral to the Mulberry centre for a mental health assessment. She linked a social worker who has previously worked with the family to the Mulberry Centre case worker.

The Outcome The Mulberry Centre case worker went out to visit C the following working day and was reportedly liaising with the social worker to look into getting a support worker to attend on a weekly basis and take some of the pressure off the siblings. The Mulberry Centre has arranged a support worker who has been to visit with A, B & C, and C was willing to engage, in that she appeared less mistrustful and allowed them into her property. Small steps are required in this situation, but for A there has been imeasurable relief, and is for the first time feeling hopeful that C will get some external support that the siblings will not be able to provide for much longer. It’s a good example of how a VIllage Agent can broker the right services that people need in order to live a better quality of life for the Carers & the cared for.

Case Study:

Carer struggled connecting to services

Jane Wood -Village Agent

Jane Wood, Village Agent in Sedgemoor helped connect an older couple with their local support services after moving to the area.

The Situation Carer and cared for have moved from Devon to Sedgemoor with no knowledge of where to start with regards to registering with doctor’s, dentist, chiropodist, opticians and support/activity groups. The Carer was overwhelmed at where to begin whilst looking after their partner, and feeling isolated due to not having a support network at hand.

The Village Agents Role

Jane provided contact details for local GPs, opticians, chiropodist and transport (including the Slinky Bus). She then phoned the client and checked that they could comfortably access and use the information provided. Jane had discovered that no Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance was being claimed, so she talked to the carer at length about claiming them. She also linked them to Grace Advocacy who agreed to support the couple with any applications. Details of approprate and relevant groups were provided and Jane discussed transport solutions with them so they could attend.

The Outcome The couple have registered with all of the services they require, which has given them peace of mind that they can now access the support they need. The couple have signed up to various groups and contacted the Slinky Bus service so they could travel to them, so no longer feel isolated in their new community and are making new friends. All the appropriate benefit applications have been made, so the couple will be financially more secure. Jane feels confident that her advice and support to improve their independance is sustainable, with support occasionally as needed from Somerset Carers.

Case Study: Making Life Easier for a Parent Carer

Kim WIlcox Village Agent

A Parent Carer was struggling balancing full-time studies with anxiety over financial difficulties.

The Situation A single parent with two children, one with additional needs, contacted Kim for support and advice after a referral from the children’s school who had suggested the Village Agents may be able to help her. Mum is at college full time nursing study. She lives in a small housing association property, she suffers with anxiety for which she recieves medication and counselling The children were in need of new school clothes and shoes.

The VIllage Agents Role Kim eased the financial burden by arranging food parcels and food bank collections. Kim referred them to Citizens Advice and also referred them to the Centre for Sustainable Energy & Wessex Water to discuss more affordable schemes with the client. She then kept in contact with those organisations to monitor progress. Kim then arranged for some essential furniture items to be delivered to her by a Micro Provider. She also completed a CCS Family Fund Grant to help with school uniform.

The Outcome

The mum feels very grateful for the action taken, especially for the food parcels - she has even offered to become a volunteer with the Food Bank when she finishes college as a thank you for helping her!

Citizens Advice have made an appointment to discuss debt management, Wessex Water have contacted her and they are applying for her to move onto an assisted tariff to help repay her water debt, & CSE have her in their system to help.

The CCS Family Fund Grant was awarded to purchase her daughters school shoes and uniform, lifting another financial burden. This has helped also with her anxiety.

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Yeovil 2021-2022 dates:

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FREE Deaf Awareness Courses • To promote inclusion & understand exclusion for both businessses & individuals • How to be more confident communicating with a deaf person, or a person with hearing loss • Understand barriers that people with gearing loss face • Learn basic sign language


Coronavirus, caring & coping a Parent Carers Story I never really considered myself an unpaid carer, just a dad who happened to have a daughter that was disabled, but caring for my daughter is just what I have been doing ever since that very cold January morning ten years ago when she was born in a hospital car park. My wife and I knew from the results of her three-month scan that our daughter was very likely to be born with Down Syndrome. For us there was no question of terminating the pregnancy, and it saddens me that almost all expecting parents who find out their unborn child has Down syndrome take that route – if someone in that position confided in me I would invite them to spend half an hour with my little girl and they would change their mind – despite her difficult life she has been a delight in our lives. So, there I was, six months later, looking down at our new arrival, as I wrapped her in my coat, just fifteen feet from the maternity unit – what an entrance to the world, I guess she couldn’t wait. As I looked into my daughters squinting eyes I could see straight away, I looked up at my wife and said: “Well here we go, we have our Downs syndrome baby” and so my journey as carer began. I say carer but really, as parents, are we not all carers? I already had two boys and since have had another girl. I only saw caring for my first daughter as being the same parental responsibility as caring for my other children – how different could it be? Of course, it is different in many ways, harder in many ways – perhaps I was naive – I just wanted to give this child the opportunity of life that so many others would have taken away. The first challenge of having a disabled child is juggling the endless hospital appointments while trying to work full time. My daughter has a number of medical problems associated with having Down syndrome; two heart defects, hypermobility syndrome, optic nerve drusen, hypothyroidism and when she was eighteen months old, she was diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia. A friend who also has a child with Down syndrome once said to me: “I wouldn’t change him for the world.” Well let me tell you, if I could take that extra chromosome away I would. Not because she looks different or because she is cognitively behind, all my children look different and they all learn at different speeds, but to take away the daily pain she has in her lower joints, the constant worry that her heart may deteriorate and to spare her the gruelling seven months of chemotherapy that she had to go through as a toddler. Post-cancer was when caring for her became really difficult. After seven months in hospital with a parent by her side her routine had changed. On returning home she would not go to bed on her own, she had become accustomed to having someone in the room with her. For years we tried to break this new habit, every night one of us would need to stay with her until she fell asleep – sometimes for hours. She has only recently started to go up on her own. The other thing that changed after her treatment was her night-time routine. Like all our children she was sleeping through the night at three months but that same anxiety that stopped her from going to bed on her

Coronavirus, caring & coping - continued own was with her when she woke in the night – I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept through the night in the last eight years. To begin with we used to put her back and wait for her to go to sleep. This would sometimes happen two or three times a night. Sleep deprivation is an awful thing, it affects your mood, increases your anxiety, and makes it difficult for you to concentrate during the day. How long do you keep trying to put her back until you give in for the sake of a better night’s sleep? Well we lasted five years – we have a king size bed, there is plenty of room for the three of us. Recently the world has been a difficult place for us all. My daughter was on the extremely vulnerable list. In the words of her GP: “To catch this virus would be catastrophic for her.” We have shielded her since the beginning of the first lockdown until the end of this year’s Easter holidays. To begin with it was fine, just the normal day to day challenges. My wife, a teacher, was at home, the sun was out and our children were treating it as an extra holiday. However, life shielding became difficult once the first lockdown ended, when my other children went back to school. Home schooling was a nightmare, she missed her friends and her siblings and we had the added anxiety of worrying that someone may bring the virus back with them from school. Worse was to come with the third lockdown. My wife was trying to home school our children and take Zoom lessons at the same time. Fortunately I have a supportive employer who allowed me to rearrange my working day so I could take on some of the home schooling – it took the pressure off my wife but I’m no teacher, I don’t think it helped my children much, in fact they probably taught me a thing or two. The most difficult time for me was when again restrictions were eased, my children and wife went back to school and once again it was just me and my daughter. She spent the mornings home schooling with me in our attic office as I worked and the afternoons playing on her own downstairs. I would check on her regularly, but I was always torn between my responsibilities of work and caring for her. Then one day I came down to find her in tears, I was mortified. I asked why she had not come to find me, and she shouted at me: “Because my feet hurt.” The next day I bought some walkie talkie’s so she could stay in touch. My mind was at rest that if she got into trouble, she would be able to get hold of me. It was great most of the time, apart from once whilst I was on a Teams meeting, she came on the radio and said: “I love you.” Everybody stared at their screens trying to work out who had blurted that out! I have been asked many times how I cope with the challenges of caring for my daughter and the honest truth is, I don’t always cope. What keeps me going is my beautiful, inspiring daughter, who lives life to the full and takes each challenge on board with a smile – she has come so far and achieved so much. People see my daughter playing in the park, laughing and joking with her sister, her tongue slightly poking out and her legs wobbly as she runs, and they see a happy little ‘Down’s’ girl. Now, don’t get me wrong she is happy and loving and she lights up my life, I am proud of her every day with everything she has achieved. However, what people don’t see are the tears when she gets home because her feet are hurting, they don’t see the getting up in the night and the effect that has on her parents or the medications, treatments and operations she has had and will continue to have throughout her childhood and into adulthood – it is like that part is invisible. It is said that a wise person learns by their mistakes – let me tell you, a fool learns by their mistakes a wise person learns by other peoples. I never saw myself as a carer and as a consequence I never went to look for support, I just carried on being a parent, but help is out there. So, learn from this old fool, if you are caring for someone, help is, and will always be, available, seek it out, don’t suffer in silence. Submitted by Michael Wallis, Somerset County Council Communications Team.

MS Support in Mendip ARE YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW AFFECTED BY MS? Did you know there is FREE, confidential and impartial advice available from Citizens Advice Mendip?* The Mendip Multiple Sclerosis Society Group

has secured a partnership with Citizens Advice Mendip that will provide access to professional and informed help on a variety of matters including; • Assistance with claiming benefits including Personal Independence Payments (PIP) • Help with debt resolution, issues at work or dealing with discrimination • Advice on housing, healthcare and education For help with these and many other matters, contact the dedicated MS Adviser on 07971 967898 or email MS Adviser is available Thursdays 12.30-4pm (appointments at other times by request) Or for more information email the Mendip MSS Group *Help is available for anyone affected by MS in the Mendip area. We hope that those with the condition, their families, carers, friends and/or colleagues will find comfort and support though this service. The Society (1139257).

Multiple is a registered England and

Sclerosis charity in Wales

Looking After You Somerset Community Connect have LOTS of info to support your mental health: looking-after-you/how-to-look-after-you/ Find help with STRESS information-advice/looking-after-you/stress/ Find help with DEPRESSION information-advice/looking-after-you/depression/ Find help with ANXIETY: information-advice/looking-after-you/anxiety/ Every Mind Matters has been created by Public Health England, with tips and advice developed with experts and approved by the NHS, created to help you manage and maintain your mental health To find urgent support:

Improve your I.T Skills Currently, over 11 million people in the UK are digitally excluded. Why is digital inclusion important?

Digital Inclusion is about helping people to develop the skills and confidence they need to use digital technology safely. As the internet becomes increasingly embedded in our day-to day lives, it is more important than ever to ensure people are able to enjoy the benefits of being online.

How can Spark iT help?

Spark iT aims to promote digital inclusion in Somerset and help people to access online health care services through the provision of a free IT helpdesk, 1-2-1 support and a device loan scheme (loan scheme available via referral by a care health professional). The Spark iT Helpdesk is available to anybody in Somerset who is digitally excluded and can support people with a range of activities, from using IT equipment, to staying connected online, to accessing local support and services that could improve their health and wellbeing.

The Help Desk is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Call 01458 550977

Somerset’s health and social care partnership Pioneering work in Somerset to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and help people get better at home has proven so successful it is being used to help shape national policy. Somerset Intermediate Care Service supports people to stay at home for longer, recover at home, or return home more quickly after a hospital stay. Reablement – support at home which helps people get back on their feet and live independently again as quickly as possible – is a critical element of Somerset’s Intermediate Care service, and is the subject of the latest Covid Catch-up film which tells the story of Susan Williams, whose recovery at home was supported by the service. Demand for intermediate care in Somerset has increased by 20% during the pandemic. Despite this, Somerset remains one of the best performers nationally for discharging people home from hospital, where they have a better chance of recovery compared to long stays in hospital. By March 2021, over 94% of people over 65 were going home from hospital, significantly exceeding government targets. Anna Littlewood, Deputy Director for Adults and Health Operations at Somerset County Council said: “Our groundbreaking Intermediate Care Service has seen an additional 631 people return home from hospital this winter compared to the same time last year. “This is so important, because just 10 days of hospital bed rest for healthy older people can equate to 10 years of muscle ageing and loss of function, and getting people home means they can keep their independence. The numbers support this too – since moving to the intermediate care model we’ve seen an 81% reduction in people going into long term care direct from hospital, and discharges into long term care now account for less than 1% of all discharges. This really is a phenomenal result. “Prevention is better than cure, and huge efforts have also been made to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions (which can prove fatal for frail older people) through

Somerset’s health and social care partnership continued.. our Rapid Response Service. We have also seen 62% of adult social care contacts in A&E given the help they need to stay out of hospital.” Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director of Adult Social Care said: “Our brilliant adult social care and health staff which include our fantastic Domiciliary, Residential and Nursing providers have been working closely with communities and voluntary organisations to ensure the people of Somerset have access to support services which are truly local and tailored to the individual – something which empowers people by involving them in decisions about their care, and supports them to live as independently as possible.” Somerset’s Intermediate Care Service was also recently hailed as one of the best in the country by John Bolton, visiting Professor at the Institute of Public Care. You can find out more about the Intermediate Care Service at At Somerset Carers we are proud to be a part of this chain with our Homefirst Agents enabling people to get home from hospital faster, and our Village and Community Agents supporting those individuals once they are home.

Care Home Residents will be able to visit their family’s garden or take a walk with a care worker or named visitor

All care home residents can now leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member’s garden, or go on walks in places such as parks, public gardens and beaches. They will not have to self-isolate when they return. Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker, or nominated visitor, and follow the government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping social distance, and remaining outside, in line with step 2 of the roadmap. The changes come as the data shows cases continuing to fall, meaning it is now much safer for care home residents, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, to leave their homes. Keeping visits outdoors will ensure any risk is minimised as much as possible.

What to do in an Emergency Essential information for when a carer becomes unavailable at short notice.

If you are at all concerned about what to do if you as a Carer are not going to be able to care for the person you look after, please call us on 0800 31 68 600. You could attach this sheet to GP notes for the carer and cared for, position it on or near the fridge for others, such as friends, family, microproviders or paramedics. If you have one, attach to your medical care plan.

If you know that there is a time period that you won’t be able to continue in your caring role, such as for a planned medical procedure, and have noone who can support you, phone 0300 123 2224 to reach the duty team at Somerset Direct and ask for temporary emergency respite. Name of Cared for: ________________________________________________________________________________________ Name and contact details of main carer ___________________________________________________________________ Keysafe code or key holder _______________________________________________________________________________ Name and contact details of available family members ____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Diagnosis / condition requiring care ______________________________________________________________________ Medication and times of day/ dosage ____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Care usually provided by the carer eg wash dress in the morning __________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes for interim carer eg cared for’s particular likes and dislikes, routines or needs/allergies, things to watch out for _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Doctor’s surgery/ ongoing treatment ____________________________________________________________________ Care usually provided by others (list of care agencies or care provided by carer and day care at a care home) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Carers preferences in an emergency eg preferred care home or provider __________________________________ Correct as written on ____________________________________________________________________________________

Who Supports Adult Carers in Somerset? Somerset Carers This service provides Carers Agents who are Somerset based individuals with a wide knowledge base of local services and information that are invaluable to carers. They are on hand to offer personal guidance and support.

Call: 0800 3168600

Text “Carer” to 78070

Website Live Chat

Somerset Community Connect

This service offers a website that has lots of information and advice and a directory of providers, local groups and activities and information drop-ins for adult residents in Somerset to find information, advice and services to manage their own care and well-being.

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust: Carers Service

This service offers support to unpaid carers and family members who look after people with mental health problems.

Phone regarding - Children and Adolescents CAMHS East: Mendip 01749 836 561, South Somerset 01935 384 140 CAMHS West (Taunton and Somerset Coast) 01823 368 368 Phone regarding - Adults & Older People The Carers service, The Bridge, Priory Health Park, Wells. Service available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Mobile: 07774207458

Call: 01749 836 606

Somerset County Council

Somerset County Council supports carers through their Adult Social Care Team who carry out Carers Assessments and offer support, advice and information. A carers assessment will look at how caring for another person affects you both mentally and physically and how it impacts on your wellbeing. Finding out how caring affects these things can help the council determine what support you could receive. Please use the Somerset Direct number below.

Somerset Direct

Somerset Direct is a contact centre managed by Somerset County Council. Somerset Direct operators will sign post you to departments relating to your enquiry.

Call: 0300 123 2224

Useful Contacts Age UK

0800 88 22 00

British Red Cross

01823 273 746

Carers UK

020 7378 4999

Citizens Advice

03444 111 444


0800 055 6688

Somerset Carers 0800 31 68 600 Somerset Village Agents 01823 331 222 Somerset NHS Foundation Trust 01278 432 000 Spark Somerset

Somerset Direct

01460 202 970

0300 123 2224

Contact Somerset Direct for:  Adult Social Care  Blue Badge Scheme