Looking after your health
Our Health and Hospital Services factsheet has general information for carers, including community health services, support with health costs and hospital discharge. Our Carers Covid-19 Engagement Service has covid specific health information.
It’s easy to forget to look after your own health needs whilst juggling everything else, but it’s important to take care of yourself. Here are some general tips and resources to support you to look after your health whilst caring:
- Try to keep cool in a heatwave at home, but if you're in Croydon, the Carers Support Centre in George Street, Croydon will remain open as normal during this hot weather Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm). We do have air-con, so once you're inside it will be cool. Croydon Council will be working to keep essential services running as normal. Residents can contact the council online or via 020 8726 6000. See also: https://news.croydon.gov.uk/heatwave-updates-monday-18.../ and https://www.croydon.gov.uk/health.../stay-safe-hot-weather. NHS Advice can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/.../heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/. Check TfL for the latest travel updates before you make any journeys – please note that TfL are currently advising people not to travel on public transport unless absolutely necessary.
- Tell your GP that you are a carer - it's important to ensure that your GP is aware of the impact caring has on your health. Ways your GP can support you may include placing you on their Carers' Register, giving you information about local carer support, keeping a closer eye on your overall health, offering you a flu jab in the winter flu period (if eligible) and demonstrating greater flexibility when offering you appointments. You may wish to download our Carers GP Checklist and share it with your GP.
- Get enough sleep - many carers experience sleep difficulties due to stress and caring responsibilities. One of our trainers offers practical techniques to help you sleep better and feel more refreshed.
- Diet and exercise - eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise can be a real struggle when you are caring. See the Just Be Croydon website for a health MOT and tips on healthier lifestyles. If you are finding this tough to achieve because of your caring role, speak to your GP.
- Get a free flu jab for you, as well as the person you care for - If you care for an ill or disabled person who may be at risk if you fell ill, or if you receive Carer's Allowance, you are entitled to a free NHS flu jab. In partnership with community pharmacies, we offer free flu jabs for carers every winter.
- Relaxation time - carers are often 'time poor', but even setting aside a short period of relaxation time for yourself can make a difference. We offer a range of wellbeing activities at the Carers Support Centre, including massage, singing and dance.
Health Advice Providers
Mind in Croydon's online directory of mental health services provides mental health information and details of local services. See: Mind in Croydon Mental Health Directory.
Livewell Croydon is a one-to-one service for Croydon residents who who might find it difficult to make healthy changes in their life without that little bit of extra support. See: Ready to change? | Just Be Croydon
Croydon BME Forum runs the Wellness Centre which offers support to help people prevent the onset of mental health problems and alleviate issues such as stress, anxiety, isolation, and low mood. The service offer support to adults with mild, severe, and enduring long-term conditions.
Carers UK has a free online course for carers called You and Your Wellbeing which is designed to help you build strategies to maintain your physical and emotional wellbeing whilst caring. You can access it here.