Looking after your health
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:
- 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 run a range of wellbeing activities at the Carers Support Centre, including massage, singing and dance.
- Talk to someone - if you are feeling stressed and want to speak to someone outside the situation, you can talk to an Advice Worker at the Carers Support Centre, call us on 020 8649 9339, option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware the above information is for general information purposes only. If you need medical advice, speak to your GP or relevant health professional.
Our work with GPs
The Carers Information Service Not Just a Patient report found that 82% of carers had never been informed about local carer support by their GP. To help Croydon GPs become more carer friendly, we've been contacting local surgeries with carer information, free resources and awareness talks to help them do more for patients with a caring role. Visit our GP section.