As an unpaid carer, it is important to look after your own health, so your ability to care is not affected.
Carers often overlook their emotional health as they put so much into caring for someone else that it becomes difficult to think about caring for themselves. Taking regular breaks, where you can recharge your batteries and do something you enjoy, can improve your health and as a result improve the care you provide.
Please see Carers UK for further information on emotional wellbeing.
Providing care and support may affect your physical health in a number of ways. Practical advice on improving your posture and keeping active may help with your wellbeing. Advice on treatments may also assist too.
Please see the Carers UK for further information on physical health.
If you have been caring for a person that has died, the loss can seem even greater. How you cope with the death of the person you cared for is a very personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to feel following a death.
Immediately after a death there are a lot of practical things to do, like registering the death and arranging the funeral, and family and friends tend to be around a lot more. It may be that only when all the practicalities are dealt with, and the people around you get back to their everyday lives, that you really start to grieve.
The following information may help you think about some of the practical issues to address and highlights some of the emotional impacts on carers when the person they cared for dies.
Please see Carers UK for further information on bereavement services.
Counselling can help make sense of your new or ongoing life as a carer, whether in specific areas such as dealing with bereavement or separation from a loved one, or with the more general feelings of stress, anxiety and depression you experience in your caring role.
A counsellor could help you to resolve any conflict that exists between you and the one you're caring for and others you are close to, as well as the many other issues affecting the emotional and mental wellbeing of carers.
Please see Carers UK for further information on counselling.
Whether you're feeling lonely all the time or it's a feeling that comes and goes, it's important to take steps to spend time with people again. Carers can access support to help them to have an enjoyable life of their own outside of their caring role.
When you’re caring, it is good to talk to people who do what you do. Carer volunteers and support groups can put you in touch with people who understand what you’re going through.
Please see Carers UK for further information on connecting with other carers.
There are local carers' groups across the UK that provide services for carers and host social events and activities. Find out what groups there are near you, and get in touch to find out what services they offer.
You might find that by opening up about your caring responsibilities, your colleagues or manager might be able to help you to cope. From flexible working to time-off in emergencies, there are a range of ways your employer may be able to help.
Please see Carers UK for further information on support at work.