Carers Need to Care for Themselves

this image shows an elderly woman talking to another younger woman sat on a blue bench

Carers need to Care for themselves too

I have been a carer ( 20 years ) and it can be tough both physically and emotionally draining and I am not embarrassed to admit that I got to the point I couldn’t cope.

I had a young family, was working and had dependant Mother-in-Law. It became too much. I knew I had a problem when one day I just collapsed onto the bathroom floor in floods of tears.

I needed a break and had to ask for help. I felt I had failed her but she understood and I called Social Services. I was very upset and literally sobbed on the phone as I explained I needed a break from 7 days a week-albeit part-time pressure.

They were brilliant and within days I was being assessed and a care agency was arranged to give me a break at week-ends. I was reassessed after a few months and was told the difference in the way I looked was huge!

Trust me – its tough to admit you can’t cope and need help, but if you don’t look after yourself how can you care for others?

As a carer, you have certain rights explained below.

You’re entitled to a carer’s assessment if you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for someone. Contact your local social services department to request one. You are entitled to a carer’s assessment regardless of whether the person you care for is having their needs assessed.

Following the assessment, you should be notified in writing of any needs that have been identified and any help or support you could get. If you would rather keep this information confidential and do not want it to be written in the disabled person’s care plan, you can ask for your own carer’s plan.

You may be able to receive financial support in the form of a Carers Allowance and respite care to give you a break from your caring responsibilities. There is also additional help and assistance from social services – for example, practical help, taxi fares, and help with managing stress.

You also have the right to have your views taken into consideration by social services when they are deciding how best to provide for the person you care for.Visit the website for more information on getting a carer’s assessment.

Also if you are caring for someone with dementia there is the most supportive FaceBook group called Dementia Aware. If you have a worry, problem, question – someone there will have the answer. It is also a great place to learn from others.



Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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