Each time of year can mean you face different situations when you are looking after someone – and summer is no exception. However, there are ways you can be prepared and know how to make the most of the opportunities available to you and the person you care for. Here we cover some advice for you and the person you care for to be able to get a break and also on how to cope with hot weather.
Getting a summer break
If you are an unpaid carer it can be more difficult to take a break or get a holiday. We can help, including by connecting you with one of a number of organisations and charities that are able to help carers have a holiday.
If you are in need of a break more generally do get in touch, we can discuss support potentially available through our own services, or through other services. Some of the options potentially available to you if you looking to have a holiday with the person you care for there are:
- Carefree. We can refer you to Carefree who offer vacant hotel spaces in cities and by the coast so carers can take a break. See more at carefreespace.org
- After Umbrage. Provision of free breaks to carers looking after a family member who have life-limiting conditions. See afterumbrage.org.uk
- Family Fund. Grants can be available towards the cost of holidays for families on a low income who are caring for a child with a severe disability. To find out more visit familyfund.org.uk
- Revitalise. Respite holidays for disabled people and their carers. See revitalise.org.uk/respiteholidays/
- Honeypot. If you have a young carer in your family, Honey pot offer countryside breaks offered for young carers. See honeypot.org.uk
Taking care in hot weather
Warm weather may give some of us more opportunities to be out of the House. But when the temperature rises there are potential health risks. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or the person you care for.
These risks may affect anyone, but those more likely to be affected include people who are elderly, living alone, have certain medical conditions or medications, are bedbound, and those who are very young.
It is worth speaking to your GP about any increased risks to the person you care for and what can be done.
For the full NHS advice see nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/
In a heatwave, or in hot weather, be aware of the risks posed by:
- Dehydration – this is when your body loses more fluids than you take in. If it’s not treated, it can get worse and become a serious problem. Find out more on the NHS website at nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/
- Overheating – this can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing.
- Learn more about heat exhaustion and heatstroke at nhs.uk/conditions/heatexhaustion-heatstroke/
There are more things you can do to help ensure you and the person you care for are less affected by hot weather:
- Keep cool – Check the temperature of rooms, especially where people at higher risk live and sleep. Electric fans can help to keep your living space cool but are less effective at extreme temperatures
- Drink plenty – Cool yourself with cold food and drinks (avoiding alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks). Have a cool shower or put cool water on yourself.
- Stay out of the sun – Keep out of the heat if you can. If you go outside stay in the shade, especially in the middle of the day. Make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothes, and avoid activities that make you hotter.
- For children and young people – If you have children, you may have challenges due to them not being in school or college during the holiday period. We have trips and activities for young carers, and your child’s school and other groups may offer opportunities too.
- Connecting carers – If you want to be in touch with other carers we are piloting a project called ‘Connecting carers’ in Huntingdonshire. We are putting carers in touch with each other, either face-toface or by telephone or online.
- Groups and trips for adult carers – As well as our regular carers hubs that you can go to with the person you care for, we also arrange trips through the summer.