West Sussex Care Month
by Jackie Hoare
As you get older, taking care of yourself can become more difficult but there are some simple steps you can take which will help make a real difference to your daily life.
What could West Sussex Care Month do for you? It’s a month packed full of information, events and ideas which will help you to stay living independently in your own home for as long as possible which has been organised by West Sussex County Council.
Connect To Support
Perhaps you would benefit from a little extra help and support at home but don’t know where to look? Finding reliable information and advice about care and support can be difficult and sometimes the choices can seem overwhelming. That’s where our West Sussex Connect to Support website comes in: www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org
It’s designed for anyone in West Sussex who is looking for information and advice about care or who needs some extra help and support with their daily life.
It is also for people who are caring for someone – and can be used by people outside West Sussex who want to find information for a relative or friend living in the county.
There’s information about issues and conditions such as dementia, mental health, disabilities, leaving hospital, health and wellbeing, and caring for someone. It also has a self assessment area and a directory of local organisations that provide care services and activities, including dementia clubs and carers’ groups.
Are You Looking After Someone Who Couldn’t Manage Without You?
If you provide unpaid regular support to someone who couldn’t manage without your help because of a disability, an illness, frailty, mental health issues or an addiction, then you realise health issues or an addiction, then you are a family or friend carer.
The person you care for may be your partner, parent, child, a relative or a friend or neighbour. A carer can be an adult or a child.
Caring for someone can be rewarding but you don’t need to manage alone. There are many family and friend carers’ groups available across West Sussex and a range of specialist support services for carers is available via Carers Support West Sussex.
In West Sussex there are over 84,000 adults who are carers and an estimated 6,000 young carers aged under 18.
Caring for someone may put a strain on your own physical and mental health. It can also limit your ability to work, socialise or get out and about, so it’s important to make sure you are supported too. There is free information, advice and support services for all family and friend carers in West Sussex provided by, or via, Carers Support West Sussex.
Family or friend carers in West Sussex are also entitled to an assessment of their needs. The assessment looks at your caring role and the impact that being a carer has on your life and wellbeing. The assessment will tell you whether you can receive funded support from the county council and give you details of carers’ groups, benefits information and other services to support you.
For more information contact Carers Support West Sussex www.carerssupport.org.uk or phone 0300 028 8888.
Care can be the last thing on our mind until it affects someone we love or we need to consider it for ourselves, but it’s good to know what information and advice is available when you do need support.
If you find the thought of having to pay for care one day overwhelming, we can direct you to Carewise. Set up by West Sussex County Council, Age UK West Sussex, West Sussex Partners in Care and the Society of Later Life Advisers, it’s there to provide you with specialist independent advice about care and support options and the most cost effective ways of paying for long-term care. Carewise provides information and advice to meet people’s individual circumstances.
It’s worth considering your options even if you don’t need care right now. Advice about paying for care is something that would be beneficial at a much earlier age than most people realise.
Contact Carewise on 01243 642121 or visit www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org/carewise
Stay Well This Winter
As we move into the winter months, it becomes more and more important to look after yourself. Cold weather can be bad for your health.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist. We want you to be able to get the right care, at the right time and in the right place when you need NHS help and treatment.
Often people go to A&E when you could receive quick and effective help and support closer to home to help you recover as quickly as possible. Save your A&E teams for those who most urgently need their specialist help this winter.
If you need advice, support or information about where you can get urgent medical help, call NHS 111.
If you are 65 and over or a primary family or friend carer then you really should think about taking up the free flu jab from the NHS to help prevent becoming ill over the winter months.
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes and if caught by someone in an ‘at risk’ group, can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
If you are a primary carer for an elderly friend or relative you may not consider yourself to be ‘at risk’, but catching the virus can mean being too sick to look after the person you care for, which could affect your ability to provide the invaluable support you provide on a daily basis.
So, if you are aged 65 and over or a primary carer for a loved one, then contact your local GP surgery or participating pharmacy to get more information and book yourself an appointment and remember the person you care for may be eligible for the free flu jab too.
To find out more visit www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/fight-flu
Technology In Your Home
Telecare can help get people home from hospital sooner or sometimes prevent them from being admitted in the first place, supporting people to continue to live safely and independently in their own home.
Some examples of equipment include:
- Fall detectors which send an alert if someone falls and can’t press their pendant.
- Smoke, gas and CO alarms which activate an alert enabling help to be called quickly.
- Bed and chair occupancy sensors which send an alert if an individual leaves the bed at night and does not return in a specified time.
To find out more visit www.westsussexconnecttosupport.org or call 01243 642121
Meals On Wheels
Enjoy a nutritious, hot meal delivered to your door every day with Meals on Wheels. Whether you are ill, recovering or would rather not worry about cooking, then take advantage of this excellent service.
Deliveries are made by professional drivers, all of whom are DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) checked and carry identification badges. Not only does the service provide nutritious meals, it also conducts a Safe and Well check upon delivery.
To find out more about Meals on Wheels, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01903 718893.
Take Some Advice On The Small Things That Can Make A Big Difference
Prevention assessment teams support people to maintain their independence, health and wellbeing in their own homes. They normally work with people who do not receive other specialist health or social care services.
These teams can provide information and advice and access to practical and emotional support either over the phone or with a home visit. So get in contact to see what ideas or suggestions they have now rather than leaving it to become a bigger problem. For more information, phone 01243 642121.
Home From Hospital
Going in and out of hospital can be daunting, but there are services you can use to make the transition easier and less stressful.
‘Home from Hospital’ is a free service which provides much needed social and emotional support for those returning home. Available to older people who may need some extra support and do not have anyone at home, it will match you with a volunteer who can give practical support, work to rebuild your confidence and reduce your risk of isolation.
The service will provide an initial home assessment and give information to minimise risks such as trip hazards as well as ensuring the heating is on and there is food available.
Other support could include collecting prescriptions and shopping, liaising with other services on your behalf, helping with a pet and accompanying you to hospital or doctors’ appointments.
If you know in advance that you are going in, then it is best to plan your return home before you leave. For unexpected stays, begin planning on the day you arrive. You will usually be given a discharge date within 24 to 48 hours of being admitted and should be kept updated if it’s likely to change. You should be involved in any decisions about your care arrangements.
For more information about Home from Hospital, contact:
Guildcare (Adur and Worthing)
- Phone: 01903 334977
- Email: email@example.com
Age UK Horsham District
- Phone: 01403 751321
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age UK West Sussex
- Phone: 01903 717130
- Email: email@example.com
There is also a ‘Relative Support Service’ which helps relatives who have to make major decisions about a family member’s future care, support and housing with information and advice about the options.
For more information, contact:
- Guild Care (Worthing Hospital and Swandean) 01903 528627
- Age UK Horsham District (Horsham Hospital) 01403 751321
- Age UK West Sussex (all other West Sussex hospitals) 01903 717130
These services are always looking for volunteers, so if you think this might be something you could help with please contact your local charity and speak to the scheme coordinator.
Had you ever considered getting more involved in helping people who need care? It may be you’ve had experience of care and support services and would like to give something back to your local community or look for paid employment. A big recruitment drive is taking place across West Sussex to find new care workers.
We’re looking for people who are friendly, supportive, respectful, dependable, positive and kind. Caring is an incredibly rewarding career choice with so many opportunities to progress and make a real difference to people’s lives.
It’s also a job with plenty of variety and flexibility. And it’s not all about working with the elderly – people of all ages need looking after. Lots of parents love the job too because they can easily fit work around their children. Or if you’ve retired from your career, caring is a fantastic way of meeting new people and supporting your community.
To find out more and let us know you’re interested, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/jobsincare
For further information about West Sussex Care Month visit our website www.westsussex.gov.uk/caremonth