Side by Side Care has written extensively about taking care of vulnerable people during the winter months, keeping them warm, encouraging them to eat well and to take some exercise… but what about the carers?
Care givers should all know the basics, about staying fit and healthy so that they can go about their business, visiting clients and delivering outstanding levels of care to those in need. That’s standard. But there are other considerations to ensure that service users get the house calls they need – and on time!
Getting sufficient rest is also vital, as a tired care giver won’t be able to concentrate on the important tasks that must be completed on each visit. However, making sure that carers actually get to appointments is something everyone can make preparations for. And we’re not talking about alarm clocks!
Winter check list
The weather is closing in fast, with snow and ice likely to feature over the next few months. Those that must travel to look after vulnerable people should take extra precautions and prepare for anything that could upset their scheduled routine.
It might sound obvious, but check the car levels – washer fluid, oil and of course fuel. Don’t forget to keep the tyres at the correct pressure, and make sure that you have the right kit to change and fit the spare tyre that should also be roadworthy!
Get stuck on an icy road in the middle of nowhere and you’ll find it very hard and uncomfortable getting to a garage. Mobile phones can be a life saver, but you can’t always guarantee a good reception in remote areas of the country.
Stock up the car
Should the worst happen, and you break down, it’s essential that you have access to an emergency kit. This should contain the roadside essentials to ensure that you and the vehicle remain safe, but also some basic medical supplies in case you have to act immediately – for yourself or others.
The same applies to simple food and drinks supplies, and a warm blanket.
Taking precautions is additionally important for care givers. Not being about to complete a client visit could, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death. That might sound dramatic, but why leave things to chance that you can easily prepare for. A late or cancelled visit will mean considerable inconvenience for the client. That’s not good enough.
You can’t always avoid accidents, or even break-downs, but minimising the risks and making sure that if you are left stranded and isolated you will be equipped to emerge relatively unscathed and ready to carry on caring sooner rather than later.
Elderly and vulnerable people rely on care givers. We should do our best to honour our commitments to help maintain their independence, and standard of life. Be prepared!
Always together, always side by side…