Your Health & Wellbeing

Getting the best from your GP

Keep healthy to help your loved one

Looking after yourself is important

Carers often suffer ill health due their caring responsibilities so it’s important to let your GP know you are a carer. GPs can be an important source of information and advice on services provided by the NHS such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments.

GPs can further support you as a carer, including the following help:

  • Provide information about the medical needs, treatments and possible side effects of medication as well as general good advice to help you look after the person you care for
  • Carrying out home visits to the person you care for if it is difficult to get both of you to the surgery
  • Synchronising appointments so you and the person you care for only need to make one trip
  • Organising repeat prescriptions to a local pharmacy
  • Writing supporting letters for benefits claims
  • Free annual flu jabs (for carers of people with certain health conditions)
  • Surgery-run support groups for carers

Pharmacy First

All Pharmacies have qualified pharmacists where you can get professional, confidential health advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses, aches and pains, quickly without having to wait for a GP appointment or possibly spend long hours at A&E. Just give them a call or drop in – there’s no need to make an appointment.

If you do not pay for your prescriptions, the pharmacy can supply you medicines free of charge.

Have regular check-ups

Although your life as a carer can be busy and your attention is focused on caring, it’s important to consider your own health needs. Make time for your medical appointments and attend regular check-ups and screenings. If you have not seen your GP for some time, why not arrange a health check?

Take care of your back

Back problems are common amongst carers. Lifting the person you care for and helping them dress or move around can place great strain on your back. Knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape.

Explore this guide to learn more about the different types of back pain, get advice on treatment and understand the ways you can prevent back pain in the future.

Read the Back pain guide or read the text version of the back pain guide.

Go to NHS Choices homepage

Take care of your emotional wellbeing

Caring for someone can have an impact on mental health as well as physically. Indeed, extreme tiredness can be the thing that leads to anxiety, stress or depression. In the same way that you should consider your physical health – be careful lifting your loved one for example, you should also be mindful of the health of your head.

The Luton Wellbeing Centre which is part of the mental health charity Mind can help – they have a Carers Support Service which supports those who care for someone with a mental health need or might be feeling that their own wellbeing is affected by their caring role.

The Luton Wellbeing Service can also offer help and aims to make a positive difference through talking therapies.