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Support for family carers as they face the challenges of Covid-19

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North Yorkshire wants to thank the many people across the County who are caring for family members and friends during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is estimated that up to 60,000 people in North Yorkshire (one in ten of us) care for family and friends as part of their everyday life and many are now providing more care than they have ever done before” said Richard Webb, the County Council’s Director of Health and Adult Services. “We want to thank them for everything they do and we must especially bear them in mind as we continue to live through Covid-19 and the current lockdown regulations which can create significant added pressure for anyone who is a carer.

“The majority of carers are providing more help with emotional support and are checking in on the person they care for more often and keeping them motivated as well as spending more money on food and household bills.

“Family carers are therefore a crucial part of the great communal effort, along with colleagues and staff in the NHS and in social care, to help the nation get through this crisis.”

Unpaid family carers are now also classed as essential workers and therefore eligible for priority testing. “We are offering support and guidance on testing and where to get tested in the county” said Richard Webb, “we are working hard to provide a network of support for carers.  As well as our existing services provided by Carers’ charities across the County, we have partnered with 23 community support organisations across the county to coordinate help on the ground with shopping, collecting prescriptions, caring for pets and having someone to talk to.”

The County Council has established one point of contact – its customer service centre on 01609 780780.  The line is now open seven days a week from 8am to 5.30pm for people to call who are without other help. Carers can also ring this number if they have any questions about the wellbeing of the person they are looking after and any other care they are receiving.  More information can be found at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/-covid-19-community-support

The Council is also encouraging carers who look after someone who couldn’t manage without their help to create an emergency plan.  The Council can give guidance on the creation of a plan which carers should have easily available and in place in case of an emergency so that anyone taking over their care has all the information they need.

The County Council has also provided an advice pack for carers with links to partner organisations and advice on use of personal protective equipment.

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