Caring can be rewarding but it can also be very tiring, placing demands on your physical and emotional energy. As a carer you need to be as healthy as possible to ensure you are able to continue with your caring role.

It's easy when you are coping day to day and responding to the needs of others, to forget your own wellbeing. Whether you've been a Carer for a while, or are new to caring, life can feel pretty tough. The good news is that there is a lot of information and support available to you. The bad news is that often we don't know what we are looking for, or it's not that easy to find. This booklet is designed to be a quick read which, whilst we hope will be useful in its own right, will point you in the right direction.

Say 'I'm Fine'...and Mean It!

When we set out to write this booklet we wanted it to appeal to Carers and to those who have not yet recognised that they might be a 'Carer'. We felt there was a need for a short, practical booklet that focuses on the important subject of health and wellbeing. We hope it fills this gap and that, now you've picked it up, you find it a source of support and strength.

To request a free copy of the booklet, please contact the Ceredigion Contact Team on 01545 574000. Alternatively contact Ceredigion Carers Unit on 01970 633564.

There are also a number of ways in which you can help yourself to manage and keep a check on your health.

Register yourself as a Carer with your doctors surgery

Investors in Carers logoInvestors in Carers is a scheme which aims to provide you, the Carer, with the support you need from your GP Surgery or Health Centre. It enables your doctor to better understand your caring responsibilities.

Do you look after someone with an illness, frailty, disability, mental ill health or substance misuse?

If so, you are a Carer and your GP surgery may be able to provide support. This help could reduce the stress of your caring role and allow you to continue giving a high quality of care. You may also need support for yourself – to look after your own health and to ensure that you have time for yourself.

Why should I tell my GP surgery that I am a Carer?

So that the GP, nurses and other staff can provide you with the help and support that you may need, either now or in the future.

How does this affect the person I am looking after?

Your GP and the surgery want to improve the quality of patient care by listening and communicating with patients and their Carers. This will involve team working between the patient (the person you care for), Carer and a member of the surgery’s Health Team.

Who will see my medical record?

This information is confidential and is for use by healthcare professionals in your surgery, but may be shared with hospital staff if you are admitted to hospital at some time in the future.

What if the person I care for is registered at another surgery?

It is still worth filling in the form at your own surgery, so that you can access help for yourself from your GP.

How can I make sure the GP and other surgery staff members will share information with me about the person care for?

The person you care for would need to give consent for their details to be shared with you where appropriate. Often consent is implied if you accompany the person you care for when they see their doctor. There is a separate registration form for the person you care for to sign to give their consent. Your surgery will have this form for you.  If the person you care for is unable to sign, please speak with your GP.

How can I register myself as a Carer?

You do not need to wait until you see your doctor. There is registration form in the downloads section on this page for you to complete and hand back to your GP surgery (by post, email or next time you go to the doctors). Or you can ask your GP surgery for a registration form to complete and hand back to reception.

Please read the guidance notes on the form before completing the form.

Get help with Lloyds Pharmacy

Lloyds pharmacy recognises the valuable but difficult role that carers play in society and have partnered with Carers UK to provide support to carers in their caring role, as well as understand and offer services to improve their health.

Website

Lloydspharmacy has a carers section on their website which has a lot of useful information specifically aimed at carers. Visit the Lloyds Pharmacy website for more information: www.lloydspharmacy.com

Blood pressure test

Lloydspharmacy have a free blood pressure testing service, it only takes a few minutes and you don't usually need an appointment

Diabetes Test

Lloydspharmacy offers a free diabetes test to help identify your risk of developing diabetes.

Cholesterol and Heart Check

Lloydspharmacy have a cholesterol and heart Check. The 10-15 minute consultation will take several readings, including cholesterol levels and blood pressure, to estimate your risk of developing heart disease. And you'll get your results straight away along with a personalised action plan to help care for your heart

Eye test

A regular eye test is a vital health check for your eyes. Conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and age-related conditions can seriously affect your vision. Lloydspharmacy are offering a home eye test for people who find it difficult to get to a local store. To check your eligibility for a home eye test, visit the website at: www.lloydspharmacy.com

NHS Carers Direct

NHS Carers Direct can offer free, confidential information and advice for carers by telephoning their NHS Carers Direct Helpline 0808 802 0202 or email: CarersDirect@nhschoices.nhs.uk

It also has a website that has a vast range of information for carers on how to look after you whilst taking care of someone else. The website has tips on fitness, healthy eating, keeping stress levels down and advice on how to access respite care and the different types of respite care available. It also has legal information and advice on how to access advocacy services.

For more information visit the NHS Carers Direct Website: www.nhs.uk

Carers UK

Carers UK displays a great deal of information on their website about; carers taking care of their health, managing medicines, good sleep tips, coping with stress and taking care of your back. For more information visit the Carers UK website: www.carersuk.org