Caring For Someone
You may find yourself in a situation of having to care for someone else, a partner, parent, child, friend etc. It is important to try and equip yourself with as much information and support as possible and the various agencies and websites mentioned in this section can give advice on all aspects of caring.
The local Council will be able to come and see you to do a Care Assessment which will ascertain what your needs are as a carer and how they can help give support and how they can help the person who is being cared for. They should be able to give advice on benefits like the Care allowance and any other benefits you as carer may be entitled to and they will see that the person you are caring for also has any benefits he or she is entitled to. They can also advise on help with adaptations to the home if this is needed.
Caring for someone else can be very rewarding in so many ways but can also be lonely and isolating for the carer. For this reason try and gain as much support as possible both emotionally and practically. It may be that family members and/or friends may be able to help out, perhaps by staying with the person being cared for to give you a break or doing other tasks like shopping for you to enable you to have more time. The Council can also advise on day centres which will give the person being cared for a change of scene, new people to meet, and give you the carer time to yourself. Many day centres arrange transport to and from the day centre. The Council should be able to advise you on professional paid carers as well. Agencies such as Crossroads can also provide trained volunteers to sit with the person you are caring for to give you a break from caring. The Princess Royal Trust also provides excellent services to support carers and their website is full of useful information.
It can be very difficult for others who are not caring for someone to understand all the emotions and feelings which this brings up. For this reason many carers find enormous benefit in joining a Carers Support Group where they can speak honestly about their feelings with others who are in a similar situation and who do know what they are going through. Carers UK can provide information on your local support group.
Caring for someone else can take over a carer’s life. Keep yourself as physically well as you can and gain as much emotional support for yourself as you can. Try not to cut yourself off from others and make use of respite services. It is so important for you as carer to have time away from caring as caring for someone can be physically and emotionally draining. If you soldier on and have no time to yourself you could become physically and emotionally exhausted so please try and take care of your own needs as well and use the services which can give help and support. Try and take some time when you can spend time with friends, have time for walking, swimming, yoga, whatever you can do to keep yourself fit and relaxed as possible, try and pursue an interest or hobby, and I am sure the person you are caring for would want you to have some time to yourself whenever possible – it also gives him/her a new face to see and this can be refreshing for the person who is cared for as well.
It may be necessary at some stage to take a longer break in caring and you may need advice on residential and nursing homes – again there are many agencies who can give you support with this as this can often be a difficult decision to make on your own. Social Services will be able to advise whether any financial help could be given with this and agencies like Citizens Advice Bureau, or Age Concern among others can give advice as to whether this will effect any benefits you are in receipt of.
SupportLine also keeps details of local Carers support and you can contact us by telephone, post or email.
Agencies providing advice, support and information
3hFund: 01892 860207,
Age UK Advice Line:
Carers UK - CarersLine:
Carers Northern Ireland:
Diabetes UK Careline:
The Stroke Association: 0303 3033 100
Revitalise : 0303 303 0145