Am I a carer?
You might be helping with household tasks such as cleaning or cooking, administering medication, organising and transporting someone to medical appointments, providing personal care or providing emotional support. You could be doing it once a day, a couple of times a week or all the time. There are no time limits to being a carer.
If you look after someone you love or care about, you may not consider yourself a carer. Caring is something we do as parents, partners, children, sisters, brothers and friends, often without question, or the need for a label.
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who could not always manage without their support. They might look after someone with a physical disability, long term health condition, mental health issue or a problem with substance misuse.
You could be still at school or college, helping to look after your brother, or a parent with a chronic illness; you could be a husband caring for his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Many people don’t see themselves as carers and continue caring, often with no support, perhaps until an emergency arises. Caring can often have an adverse impact on carers own health and wellbeing. Despite this, carers might be put off asking for help because they do not think they are eligible.
We are here for carers whatever their circumstances.
How might caring affect my wellbeing?
Caring for someone can be positive and rewarding, but it can also be challenging, tiring and isolating.
Health and Wellbeing
Looking after someone can make you physically exhausted – you might be getting up several times in the night as well as caring throughout the day. You might be juggling caring with looking after the rest of your family and holding down a job. Caring can leave you emotionally exhausted and lead to stress, depression and other mental health issues.
Caring can affect your relationship with your partner or other family members. If you are caring in a couple you may no longer be able to enjoy shared activities or plan for a future together. Caring can be isolating as you may find you can rarely leave the house. It may be hard to sustain friendships or develop new ones, or keep up with interests and activities you may have previously enjoyed. Many young adult carers often miss out on the things their friends take for granted, like going out socialising, enjoying sports, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend.
We can help however caring is affecting you.The Facts About Caring - Myth Buster
How might caring affect my life?
Caring can also add strain of other aspects of your like finances or your ability to work or study.
Caring can lead to financial hardship if you have to give up work to care, or are managing on benefits. You may not be able to do the things that many of us take for granted; such as house repairs, going on holiday, enjoying a family day out, or running a car. Becoming a carer can feel like a constant battle to access the benefits and other financial help you may need.
Working and learning
Caring may mean that you have to put your chance of a career on hold, or never have the opportunity to have one and reach your full potential. 60% of working carers are worried about their ability to continue for another year and repeatedly have to take time off. You may have to give up work and see your income reduced to benefits. Caring responsibilities mean that many young adult carers find it hard to go to college/university, or keep up with course work.
We can help however caring is affecting you.
How We Can Help
If you are worried about reaching out for support because of what that might mean for you and the person you care for, you can read these myth busters facts about caring.
We will work with you to find the support that’s right for you whatever it is you are facing as a carer.
To see what support we can other see our services.
If you have questions around support you might have access to or, you want more information about being a carer you can go to our information zone.
We look forward to hearing from you and how we can help you in your role as a carer.