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Carers and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Being a carer and suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder

The NHS says:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.

SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.

Some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
  • difficulty concentrating
  • decreased sex drive

For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

Taken from nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions 07.11.2022

Overview – Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Being a carer in winter can be particularly difficult.  In Summer being able to get outside, take a walk, be in the garden, can be a lifeline if you have caring responsibilities.

What can you do?

The NHS gives these tips:

 There are a number of things you can do to help improve your symptoms:

  • try to get as much natural sunlight as possible – even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial
  • make your work and home environments as light and airy as possible
  • sit near windows when you’re indoors
  • take plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight – read more about exercise for depression
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • if possible, avoid stressful situations and take steps to manage stress

Treatment – Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Support for Carers Living in Blackburn with Darwen

  • Emotional Support
  • Counselling
  • Walking group
  • Activities and Trips
  • Groups – connecting with others.

Contact Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service today 01254 688440

There are around 7 million carers in the UK. That’s one in ten people. Three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives

CARERS UK – 2022-2023 GUIDE

CARERS UK have released a guide for carer.

  • This edition includes A Carer’s Guide: an illustrated introduction to the challenges of caring, from making difficult decisions to looking after your health and wellbeing.
  • Benefits: an overview of which benefits you or the person you care for may be entitled to and information about how to get a benefits check.
  • Other financial help: including help with council tax, fuel costs, pensions and health costs.
  • Practical help: including community care assessment, carer’s assessment and direct payments.
  • Technology: information about health and care technology that could make life easier for you and the person you care for.
  • Your workplace: your rights at work, from flexible working and parental leave to protection from discrimination.
  • Other help: how to find other help nationally and in your local community.

Please click on the link below to access the guide:

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-resources/looking-after-someone?utm_source=cukweb&utm_medium=module&utm_campaign=crg&utm_term=carers%20right

To discuss anything mentioned in this guide contact, Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service.

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Hospital Discharge

Do you live in Blackburn with Darwen and have recently been discharged from hospital? Or do you care for someone who has recently been discharged from hospital?

Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service is trying to identify carers who have been supporting someone recently discharged from hospital. We know what a difficult time this can be.

It can be hard to juggle your own responsibilities as well as support someone who needs a little bit more care after returning from hospital. We can help. Our experienced advisors can give you advice and information on support available for the person you care for as well as support for you.

Call us today to find out more 01254 688440

Home – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Financial hardship

Are you experiencing financial hardship? Do you live in Blackburn with Darwen? These services can help:

Oaks Money Advice Centre The Oaks Money Advice Centre | Blackburn Foodbank

The Oaks Money Advice Centre provides a free, confidential, face to face budgeting, debt and benefit advice services based within Blackburn Foodbank, open to anyone under financial strain. We are understanding of how debt and money management can build up and become seemingly unmanageable, and so we provide tools and advice to alleviate this and allow for a path forward. Anyone is free to terminate services at any point without commitments.

Monday – Friday, 9am-3pm.

The Foodbank About | Blackburn Foodbank

We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

Food available at SAMS – Newfield Drive, Bburn 01254 291271

SAMS at Community & Business Partners – Home | Facebook

Blackburn Mill Hill Community Fridge & The Billy Project

Blackburn Mill Hill Community Fridge… – The Billy Project | Facebook

The Billy Project – Home | Facebook

Shelter – 0344 515 1831

Shelter is a national homelessness and housing charity. Shelter Lancashire helps people across Blackburn with Darwen with advice and support regarding housing, debt and welfare benefit issues. The team are providing advice and support by telephone and email to keep you safe through this challenging time. Contact them today to find out more.

Shelter Lancashire | Care Network (Blackburn with Darwen) Ltd

Care Network 01254 507255 (option 2)

Care Network believes that everyone is entitled to an independent, healthy and safe life.

Whether it’s support for you or someone close to you, support at home or in your community. We will do everything we can to inform you and connect you with quality services for your continued wellbeing.

We are here for all people living in Blackburn with Darwen. Helping everyone to know where to go to access help, advice and support when they face any of life’s challenges. 

About us | Care Network (Blackburn with Darwen) Ltd

Lancashire BME Network

Energy 360 is a support service to help you and your family improve your home energy efficiency whilst reducing your bills and carbon footprint. It is funded through the Energy Saving Trust and provides free impartial energy advice.

We offer FREE confidential bilingual support which is personalised to you and your home.

Energy 360 – Lancashire BME Network

If you are a carer and living in BWD contact the CARERS SERVICE

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Unpaid Carers – Benefit calculator.

CARERS TRUST have an on-line benefit calculator to see what you may be entitled too.

Try clicking the link below to be taken to the CARERS TRUST – Benefit calculator.

Money & Benefits – Benefits Calculator | Carers Trust

If you live in BWD and would like more benefit support contact our reception today on 01254 688440 to book a benefits appointment,

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

CARERS ALLOWANCE

Can I claim Carers Allowance?

Want to know more about Carers Allowance? Click on the Carers UK fact sheet below:

Carer’s Allowance: How it works – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For further support contact your local carers service.

If you live in BWD contact 01254 688440 or click on the link below:

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Planning for the future.

Planning for the future is important, however if you care for a member of your family who has a disability, physical or mental health problem, addiction or long term condition, it can be even more important.

Many carers are concerned that they can provide for them financially in their will after their own passing.

The Website “vocal offers great financial advice” for carers to support their loved ones.

Planning for the future – VOCAL

It outlines many questions that carers ask:

  • How will my son or daughter manage their money when I am no longer around?
  • What will happen to my son or daughter’s benefits if they inherit money?
  • How can I make sure my son or daughter is not taken advantage of by someone who knows about their inheritance?
  • Will the social work department be able to use my son or daughter’s inheritance to pay towards the cost of care?
  • What will happen if there are no other family members who can help?
  • Will my son or daughter be able to stay in the family home?

At BWD Carers Service we also offer support with Power of Attorney, Wills and benefit advice.

If you are concerned about any of the questions above then please contact us today on 01254 688440.

Or visit are website below for further contact information.

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Will your loved one not accept help? – Blog

At times there may be support out there but your loved one may be reluctant to accept it.  This can be frustrating, especially if you sometimes feel your caring role is overwhelming and you need help.

Firstly, it is important to remember how your loved one must feel.  Likely, they have had busy lives, working, bringing up a family, so accepting they may now need help with what was once a simple task can be difficult.  

The situation may feel hopeless to change but here are some strategies that may be help.

Early conversations – Start the conversations early before support is even necessary.  Ask “How would you feel about help if you needed it?”  If you were struggling and needed support, what would you like?”  “Would you want a cleaner if it helped you stay at home?”

Listen – The answers to these questions may not necessarily be the ones you wanted.  It is so important you show you are listening. This shows you are taking their thoughts and feelings into consideration.

Think – Think about their answers.  What do they tell you about your loved one’s thoughts and fears?  Continue to ask questions such as “So, is it your privacy you are concerned about?”  or “So, it upsets you, the thought of losing your independence?”

Options – Make sure your loved one is included in the conversations around their care and they have options.  Let them decide, the days of support, the times of support.  Perhaps not only could someone help with tasks but also enjoyable activities with them.

Outside support – Consider at times, it may be easier for your loved one to talk to someone who isn’t a friend or family member.  They may be able to open up easier to a community or charity worker.

Prioritise – There may be a number of things you would like to change but focus on what is really important.  You may not want things done in a certain way but ask yourself, “does it really matter?”  There may be other things that you feel are very important so focus on them.

Be indirect – If you care for someone with dementia it may be better to not go into every detail.  Instead of explaining you are paying for support from a care company and where they are from and what they have to do, you can keep it simple.  “Someone helpful is coming to see if you need anything.”

Take is slow – Start perhaps with short visits, even perhaps asking the caregiver to just have a coffee with your loved one. Gradually you can increase the care.  This way your loved one doesn’t feel overwhelmed or they are losing control of the situation.

Understand your limits – You cannot control everything and your loved one must be given choice.  Understand at times our loved ones may for instance fall, through no fault of anyone’s and there was nothing we could have done.  Remind yourself all the difference you make and don’t focus on the setbacks. You can only try your best.

For more information contact your local carers service. If you live in BWD click on this link.

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

Keeping well this winter – Blog

Winter can be a difficult time living in England.  Cold, wet weather and short days can leave us feeling low and tired.  Age UK have some great tips in staying well and positive this winter.

Firstly, it stresses the importance of staying connected.  It may be difficult to currently meet up with people especially with covid infections on the increase.  Age UK recommends picking up the phone and ringing friends/family to have a chat.  Perhaps you could make it part of your routine.

The next tip is to keep moving and eat well.  Moving, even just a little bit can give us a boost. A quick walk down the street or around the garden.  You may also feel it is difficult making big meals but remember to keep an eye on what your eating.  Eating little and often is better than skipping meals.

Next, try to do something you enjoy every day.  Do you have a hobby?  Do you like to read or watch films? It may be hard to find the motivation at first to do these things but over time you may start to build some enjoyment in them.

Also, it recommends trying to have a routine.  Try to have regularly times you get up, eat meals, do tasks etc.   Not in a rigid way, just so that you have good habits that keeps your mind focused.

At times we may feel low and need to talk to someone or visit the GP.  If you live in Blackburn with Darwen contact your local Carers Service on 01254 688440 for advice.

Contact – Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service (bwdcarers.org.uk)

To read the full article from AGE UK, click on the link below.

Ways to keep your spirits up | Age UK

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