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Making a plan

If you are having to self-isolate or are required to work longer hours and cannot provide care in the same way as before, read our advice on creating a contingency plan. Here, we explain how many different sources of support can be used to bolster your plan.

For example, you can: ensure key information is made readily available for professionals; draw on networks of community and family support; and explore what technology can be used to support someone you look after when you can't be in the same place at the same time. 

For help with creating your own plan, see our own contingency planning tool:

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Where to start?

Local support – accessing help and seeing what’s available

It is worth looking at your local authority or health and social care trust (in Northern Ireland) website for its dedicated COVID-19 pages. Many have their own dedicated COVID-19 community support up and running now, and have established other forms of local support.

For example, some councils now have community network support helplines which can provide eligible residents with essential items such as food parcels and prescription collections, as well as advice.

You could also check with the local authority – or health and social care trust in Northern Ireland – of those you care for to see whether they have an emergency plan in place. You can find their contact details here: or use our support where you live directory. They should also publish this plan on their website.

It's important to check how the person you care for feels about any decisions you need to make. Their welfare is of course paramount and they should be part of any decision made.

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Being prepared

If you're concerned about someone you know being discharged from hospital earlier than expected, take a look at our tailored guidance on 'coming out of hospital'. Whether you need to take on caring responsibilities for the first time or need to resume your role as their carer, this will provide some tips on what to expect to help you feel more prepared.

It is a good idea to let your GP or medical professional know that you are a carer. See our guidelines on how you could go about this on our Let your GP know page.

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