How to Access Support with NHS inform – My Life as a Carer
Have you explored NHS inform?
As a carer myself, NHS inform helps me to connect, learn, and discover what I need to know while enabling me to become more resourceful, knowledgable, and self-reliant at home and in the wider community.
By Kyle Wilson | September 2023
The NHS inform Website
Being a carer can present many challenges, and can even leave us feeling lonely at times, especially if we have struggled to find and connect with other carers who might be able to support us through sharing some of their own caring experiences.
NHS inform is one of Scotland’s best free public health resources. And by being fully accessible to the public, we get access to a wealth of shared information that helps people like us to quickly connect, learn, and discover the support we may be looking for.
When we visit the NHS inform website, we will discover a range of self-help guides that share helpful information and support. From single parents to low income families, young people, the differently-abled (disabled), and seniors alike, there is support here for everyone. Topics include:
Discover Help for Carers
A big part of being a carer is knowing where to go to get the right support that we need, when we need it.
NHS inform is one such service that continues to be a valuable resource in my daily life as a carer.
When I first started out, around five years ago, I did not know about all of the available tools, rescources, and helpful people that could assist me in the various situations that us carers inevitably find ourselves in, but as my experience as a carer continues to grow, I still find myself discovering and connecting with new people from community groups, charities, support networks, the local council, and even specialist health care workers such as nurses, geriatric doctors, dieticians and more who kindly share information that helps to guide me in the right direction and connect me with the right people, support, and services.
The Perth and Kinross Council offer a range of support to carers, too.
Discover Healthy Living
One of the many challenges we face as carers is ensuring the health and wellbeing of those we care for, but who is looking out for our own health and wellbeing needs? After all, if we’re not looking after ourselves how can we look after others?
The NHS Tayside Community Cookit programme is a good place to go for simple, affordable, and nutritious recipe ideas that can be easily adapted to our meal time routines, not to mention the benefits that come with being part of a shared community of people with similar interests.
The NHS inform Eatwell Guide: How to eat a healthy balanced diet is a great resource that helps me to know and understand more about the different food groups, portion sizes, when to eat certain foods, recommended water intake, and more.
The NHS inform video below is BSL friendly and will help to explain about the Eatwell Guide.
I also find another website, DrAxe.com, that specialises in healthy recipes and information to be worthwhile as they include the nutritional benefits of various foods.
It helps me to better understand which foods can benefit the overall health and wellbeing of the people I care for, including myself, and which foods to either reduce or stop eating altogether.
For example, in this video I cook almond crusted salmon with avocado sauce, a super healthy recipe I found on DrAxe.com, for my grandparents. The nutritional benefits of salmon and avocado are out of this world and go a long way in helping those we care for to achieve the recommended intake of protein and healthy fats.
Give it a try!
Of course, healthy living has many important parts that contribute toward our overall quality of life which is why the NHS inform website also shares good information on strength and balance exercises which can be adapted to suit any person of any age, including carers and seniors, who may benefit from trying some of the chair exercises or even chair yoga.
Discover Mental Wellbeing
As we’ve discovered and shared already, connection is one of the best ways to support our mental wellbeing. Evidence shows that good relationships with the people in our life and wider community are important contributors to our overall health.
Small acts of kindness toward ourselves and others in our community help to make us feel good about ourselves and others. For example, how does it make you feel when you share with others?
These actions help to give us courage and they go a long way in helping us to achieve a sense of purpose and wellness in life.
Did you know that the NHS offer free counselling through a self-referal or through your GP?
NHS Talking Therapies offer a range of different counselling techniques, some of which may work better for those who suit them, from mindfullness therapy, to cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, and relationship counselling to name but a few.
Discover Tests and Treatments
NHS inform have an A-Z list of all the common tests and treatments available for those who may find it helpful to discover and learn more about them and how they can help us in various situations.
Would you like to learn more about what to do if someone has an accident, heart attack, or stroke?
Did you know that the NHS also have a vitamin D testing service?
Discover Illnesses and Conditions
Another reason why NHS inform is helpful for anybody who wants to make more informed decisions about their health and wellbeing is that they have created an A-Z list of all of the common illnesses and conditions to help us discover more about them.
For example, some of the topics we can learn more about are:
Stress, anxiety, and low mood
Low blood sugar
Iron deficiency anaemia
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
NHS inform is also Accessible via the NHS24 app
The NHS have also made it possible to access NHS inform through the NHS 24 app which is available to download for free to any iOS or Android device.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be able to access all of the support and assistance you may need wherever you are.
Stay informed with the NHS online at:
The NHS have various social media channels and websites to help you stay informed:
NHS inform YouTube
NHS 24 Facebook
NHS 24 Instagram
NHS 24 X
NHS 24 LinkedIn
NHS Tayside Community Food and Health
NHS Tayside Community Cookit
NHS Tayside Womens, Children, and Families Service
NHS Tayside Mums & Babies
NHS TaysideChild and Adolescent Mental Health Service – CAMHS
More Helpful Links & Resources
Check out the links below:
Discover the mental health & wellbeing resources on the Perth & Kinross council website, and:
Living Life to the Full
CARE INFORMATION SCOTLAND
The British Psychological Society (BPS)
0116 254 9568
The BPS provides access to a list of clinical and counselling psychologists offering private therapy services.
0300 123 1053 (helpline, 9am–8pm Monday–Friday, 11am–4pm Saturday and Sunday)
www.carersdirectenquiry.serco.com/newcarersemail (contact form) Carers Direct provides advice for people who need help with their caring role and want to know what options are available to them.
0300 772 9600
Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.
0808 808 7777 (helpline, 9am–6pm Monday–Friday)
Carers UK provides information and advice about caring alongside practical and emotional support for carers.
0333 325 250 (10am–4pm Monday–Friday)
The Counselling Directory website includes a searchable database of counsellors and psychotherapists. It also has information about how talking therapies may help.
0800 888 6678 (9am–9pm Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm Saturday and Sunday)
Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through its Admiral Nurse service.
0808 2000 247 (helpline, 24-hour)
www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/en/contact-us (contact form)
Refuge is a charity that supports victims of violence and abuse, including sexual violence.
CareBlair created ScotsVote UK to help the young and young at heart learn how to register to vote and participate in elections as informed voters.
Use this page on ScotsVote UK to discover and connect with your local councillors across the twelve wards that make up Perth and Kinross council.
Some research papers that have inspired us:
Stanford Centre on Longevity (America) source: https://news.stanford.edu/2016/02/11/longevity-sightlines-project-021116/
Alzheimers Drug Trials: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5866992/
Dementia. Is it preventable? – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346354/
Read the article that reports on dietary carbohydrate, insulin resistance and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27582035/
The Mediterranean diet, micronutrients and macronutrients, and MRI measures of cortical thickness and the affects of these in elderly people – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27461490/
Until next time, remember, sharing is caring.
Got a question, a thought, or an idea that you think might help Kyle and other carers? Share it with our community on social media or email us and we’ll do our best to get back to you.