Between a third and half of carers we see at Berkshire Carers Service have either a personal disability or a long-term condition. When carers are struggling with their own health needs, caring can become both challenging and a risk. For older carers with associated age-frailty this is of particular concern because they are at higher risk of falls. This happens when older carers are undertaking more physically demanding tasks to provide care and run the household ‘for two’. There are also risks when older carers are lifting and moving disability equipment such as wheelchairs.
When carers are busy juggling working lives, family commitments and a caring role, trying to eat well or keep fit personally are rarely the top priorities. Most families with disabled children will forego all leisure activities normally undertaken together making it much for family members to stay fit mentally and physically.
Carers can access a wide range of online tests and questionnaires through NHS Choices to check common health symptoms. Some of these are for long-term conditions, conditions we develop through poor life-style habits such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension, others are for long-term illnesses which are not caused by lifestyle choice. These tests and apps provide information and advice only. If you think you have any of these conditions, or are concerned about any symptoms of an existing health condition, you should make an appointment to see your GP or practice nurse.
In addition to online quizzes, the NHS has produced a range of excellent smart apps and pod casts. These are available to help you monitor your health and lifestyle and provide guided exercise and weight-loss programming.