Family members are often the ones supporting a person they love because they are their son, daughter, mother, father, husband or wife. They do not think of themselves as a carer.
A carer is someone who looks after a friend or family member who’s not able to manage all their needs by themselves.
Being a carer can be both physically and emotionally draining. It can place a strain on relationships with other family members, on your job and your finances. However, there are things that you can do to look after your own health, support is available if you feel unable to cope, and there is guidance available on support you can expect from your employers and on managing your finances and claiming benefits whilst caring.
Eating well: A healthy diet is important no matter who you are. Eating well can help give you the energy to provide the best care you can.
Exercise: As well as helping you feel physically fitter and stronger, exercise is good for your mental health. Exercising during the day can also help you sleep better sometimes even a 10-minute walk can help relieve stress. If you can’t get away from the house some gardening or yoga at home may help.
Getting enough sleep: It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you’re a carer. The person you’re looking after may need help during the night or you may feel unable to leave them. If you’re having problems sleeping for more than a few nights, speak to your doctor. If your loved one needs attention during the night speak to your District Nurse, GP or Clinical Nurse specialist they may also be able to arrange for care overnight to allow you to get some rest.
Psychological and emotional wellbeing: Being a carer can be extremely stressful. If you can, talk to family and friends about how you’re feeling and ask for help. Your doctor can also offer support, while some organisations provide respite care to enable you to have a break.
Online forums can be a way to communicate with others in a similar position, and you can use them at whatever time of day or night you have the time;
https://community.mariecurie.org.uk/ for people affected by terminal illness
http://community.macmillan.org.uk/ for people affected by cancer
Support on all aspects of caring
https://www.carers.org/ - (Carers Trust)
Support on caring for someone with a terminal illness
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/ - Citizens Advice guide to benefits.
Wired - Working with and for Disadvantaged People and Carers across the North West http://www.wired.me.uk/