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Caring for those in the Countryside - Carers UK Forum

Caring for those in the Countryside

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi All!

I'm new to the carersuk site but i'm keen to contribute :) There's so much useful chatter on here it would be rude not to add my own.

My experience comes mainly from one to one caring for those in rural Northumberland in the North-East of England. In winter some of the small villages can be difficult or totally inaccessible. In summer the scenery can provide a wonderful break to those who are often housebound.

Tips for winter:
Ensure those that you care for have a fully stocked fridge or pantry. Plan in advance, what would happen if the weather meant you couldn't reach them the following week? Would they have enough supplies to survive in your absence? Is there boiler working correctly? Often those in small rural villages have heating oil tanks, are there tanks full? For some of my friends I have to order their heating oil, whilst ringing around the local suppliers can get you a bargain i've found that https://homefuelsdirect.co.uk are consistently cheaper than everyone else. They also have small tankers which can fit down rural roads.

Tips for summer:
In summer I always do my best to get those that I care for out in the open air. I'm a keen fan of the concept that nature is a healer. Think of exciting things that you could do the next time you have a one to one session or are caring for someone, check in the local papers for fun things to do. I've used http://www.daysout.co.uk/ to get ideas and discounts for activities, also look into whether your local council offers carer cards which can offer free or discounted travel or entry to activities.

I hope this helps :D

Feel free to reply with any questions or anything i could learn from :)

Benji S
Good post, and sound advice.
On the issue of heating oil, and having lived in a very rural location, I know that oil-fired heating is very expensive. Some people have claimed savings of 40% on fuel costs by replacing their old oil-fired central heating with a modern, air-sourced heat exchange system that runs on electricity. This is well worth considering, as are solar panels and improved insulation, there are often grants or low-cost loans available for these. If I had my time again I would also have considered installing a small windmill, as I lived in a very hilly, windy location at 500' above sea level near the Ayrshire coast.
I'm currently generating around 3,000 kilowatt-hours a year - worth around £500 - of free solar electricity from my 4 kwh rooftop system, which also pays me £400 a year in the feed-in-tariff from the government. So the £9000 installation cost of the system pays back in ten years, but is guaranteed for twenty - a pretty good deal.
Wow, this is a really good forum post. It is well explained and very thorough. I am so thankful that I read this forum post. You are so correct in how to treat patients during the winter and the summer. Your tips are so well-written and thought out. There is a web link that is helpful in any first aid emergency:


I hope this helps you.
Thanks Scally! Glad you appreciated my advice.

Yes it's been interesting to see the oil prices change, at the start of the year they were just 27p per litre, but as you say it can be expensive given that you must top up and often pay for a few months fuel at once. I've heard of the system you recommend and will investigate grants and funding, most of those that I care for probably couldn't afford the upfront cost alone.

I'm interested in solar for myself and it seems the installation costs are getting more and more competitive, interesting to hear how much you get back!

HI Matteo, glad you liked my post :) Good point of offering first aid advice, first aid procedures can change dramatically when weather conditions change. Good tip (y)

I think another good way to help out is to go online for heating oil quotes for the elderly, as it's like second nature for us but many older people aren't tech-savvy. You can get some good deals online which can sometimes be better than phoning up for some reason!

If you're looking to get heating oil quotes super quick, I use https://www.rix.co.uk/for-home/fuels/heating-oil/ for mine. They have a calculator you can use which will work out the price based on how much fuel you need and where you need it delivered to.

Of course, there's the big comparison sites like boiler juice, but I personally prefer to go to the supplier directly for a quote.

Hope this helps someone! :D
On the same theme ... oil / propane as heating fuels ... I'm constantly making enquiries of Trussells to see IF their energy bank can include schemes for both ... they share the same concerns but ... very difficult to implement beyond encouraging local communities to form " Energy co-ops " to meet the suppliers head on ... and with some collective bargaining power.

One extra large oil container ... individual rubber hoses ... numerous hospital cases when sucking a little too much ... one measuring oil taken and collecting cash ... whip round for a couple to guard after hours ... one local just about to light a cigarette ... does not tend to work ?

One often hears of rumours of supplier cartels over the years ... high time to meet their match with end user " Cartels " ???