A carers' guide to getting stuff done without leaving the house

As carers, even before the Coronavirus situation, getting out of the house hasn't always been easy. Leaving the person we care for might be impossible or only possible when we have alternative support in place. Whether we are shielding, unable to leave the home because of the weather, here are some new options and creative solutions. Perfect for winter hibernation too!

Three important things before we dive in

1. If getting out to do these things is an enjoyable escape and a way of connecting with others that might be important too!

2. Some of these things might seem to cost a little extra - this might be balanced against the cost of mileage, bus fares or parking. We can also mention these additional costs in our next carers assessment.

14 ways that carers are getting stuff done without leaving the house

1. Shopping from home

This includes large supermarket online grocery shopping. The struggle to get a delivery slot is now mostly gone as the big supermarkets opened. If we're doing this regularly, check to see if the supermarket where we shop has a monthly subscription charge for delivery - it might save us money over a year.

We can also do local grocery shopping. In some areas, we can also get smaller deliveries from smaller local stores too. Many village stores and corner shops will accept an order by telephone and deliver locally too.

There endless amount of e-commerce options. Many retail businesses now offer an online or telephone shopping option. Smaller businesses often sell through larger platforms such as Etsy, Ebay and Amazon. There are even options to buy and sell second hand (or even find items for free) through Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, Depop, Shpock, Gumtree, Preloved, Amazon, Ebay.

2. Taking care of ourselves and those we care for

"Online appointments with my daughter's consultant have been so much less stressful and can be managed around my working day - I don't have to take time off work."

Opt for online medical appointments if we can. There will always be a time when it is best to see a healthcare professional face to face but as carers we are now finding some appointments work just as well online or by telephone, with the added benefit of less time and money spent travelling. In some cases a less stressful experience when we and those we care for are in the comfort of our own home.

Managing prescriptions by checking what our local pharmacy offers. Online delivery services are also available from Boots, Lloyds, Echo and others. The NHS has a full list here. -

Take care of our wellbeing. Search Youtube for free online exercises, book our chiropodist to visit us at home or use apps for meditation and mindfulness.

3. Essential jobs

"If I have limited opportunities to leave the house I'd rather spend it doing something more exciting that queuing for the post office."

We can still posting parcels from home. Royal Mail have a click and drop service that allows us to pay postage online and print off the prepaid label. We can then drop in a local parcel box, or better still for an extra 75p you can arrange for our postman to collect it. Find out more here.

Revisit safe and well checks. Our local council or fire service may offer these with a focus on fire safety and prevention. Many will check existing equipment and install smoke detectors where they are needed.

Keeping the car running. Rather than taking our car to a garage, ask for local recommendation for a mobile service. Aircon, tyres, windscreen and chip repairs can often be done at home. Local mobile valet services can be cheaper and easier than going to a hand car wash.

Some local libraries offer a home delivery service, or we can request the books we would like with the library for someone else to collect and drop off for us. Most libraries have an e-reader service too so we can loan and download books to our device for free. Search for your local library service online or look at a service like Borrow Box.

4. Treat yourself and others

Hair and Beauty services straight to our home. Mobile hair and beauty services can sometimes cost less - always get a recommendation and check their insurance cover and professional status.

Takeaway Food. The choice available has exploded recently. A great opportunity to support local businesses with pub and restaurant delivery service, afternoon tea, brownies and even fresh doughnuts. You can even order a meal kit and cook our favourite meal out at home.

Create our own birthday cards. We even order online with opportunities to personalise, add photos and deliver straight to the recipients door. Or try E-cards. Carers from the Mobilise community have been enjoying cards by Jacquie Lawson.

Check out gift subscriptions. Flowers, pamper boxes, drink subscriptions and more can be ordered for a monthly delivery. Blurt have a buddy box for a regular delivery of self-care pick-me ups. Mind have a "Pause" subscription, we donate to the charity and we or a friend get a monthly box of relaxation activities.

The list goes on. We could add working from home, running a business or side gig and joining peer support groups like the Mobilise Virtual Cuppa for Carers.

Any more tips to share? Do drop me a line or join in the chat in our Facebook Group.