Taking Care Of Yourself
As a Carer, it is important that you take care of yourself – this can be very positive both physically and emotionally for yourself and the person you are taking care of.
However, all too often Carers can be so preoccupied with the health and well-being of the person they are caring for, that their own needs take a back seat. Below is a collection of services, articles and useful websites that can help you to take better care of yourself.
You could also seek others in a similar situation, with whom you can share your worries and find mutual support.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Whilst caring is often rewarding it can also be hard work.
It can be easy to put your own well-being, and indeed your own safety, to one side when you are focused on caring for someone else; but it’s important that you take time out to focus on your own health, both physical and mental.
You have to be fit and healthy to be able to care properly. And without regular breaks and time out from your caring role it can be easy to ‘burn out’ and even start to resent the person you care for.
Here are some things you should consider:
Are you able to take a break?
Caring for someone can be a full-time job so breaks are vital to your own well-being and quality of life.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Sleep is a vital part of our daily life and important for our physical and mental health. However, many Carers often struggle to get a good nights sleep.
Are you caring for your back?
Most of us will suffer back pain at some stage of our lives. But as a Carer, you're even more likely to be affected. Knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape.
Are you feeling stressed or depressed?
Caring for someone can be very rewarding and can bring you closer together, but it can also be challenging and sometimes upsetting. Stress and depression can affect anyone, but the pressure and expectations of caring can make carers particularly vulnerable.
You should advise your GP if you are a Carer. You may be offered a health check and they may also be able to offer additional support or be more flexible with appointment times if they know you are caring for someone. If you’re the main carer of an older or disabled person who would be at risk if you were ill, you may be entitled to a free NHS flu jab. You can also get one if you get Carer’s Allowance.
Sometimes the person you care for may harm you. This may be due to the condition they have, or because they are feeling angry or frustrated. It is important to tell someone about this; extra support, information or services can be provided if you feel you are at risk to help keep you and the person you care for safe.
Equally there may be times when you are finding it hard to cope with your caring role, or feel you no longer want to care. Speak to a member of staff at the Sutton Carers Centre, who will help you to get the right support.