National Carers Week 11 – 17 June 2018
Carers Week is an annual campaign which raises awareness of caring, highlights the challenges carers face, and recognises the contribution they make to families and our communities. This year’s theme is Helping Carers to be Healthy and Connected and in all corners of our communities we can help
Around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but it can also be a challenging role.
As a carer it’s easy to put your own well-being last, but it’s really important to look after yourself. After all how can you care for someone if you are tired, stressed and emotionally drained?
Top tips for carers
If you are a carer or know someone who is, make sure you’re mindful of your own needs by following these tips and advice from other carers, they might just help you through your day:
- Recognise that you are a carer
Even if you don’t like the word, recognising that you are a carer will give you access to the support you need. Don’t feel like you’ve got to do it all alone – talk to people and get support.
- Take things one step at a time
There’s a lot to take in when you first start caring, so just take things one step at a time.
- Keep calm
Whatever condition or illness you are dealing with there will be times when panicking about it is not going to help. Keep calm and carry on as the saying goes.
- Be kind to yourself – it’s ok to have a bad day
Try to have a bit of me time. Find Carers Count your local carers centre and find out all the support that is available to you. It’s ok to ask for support and it’s ok to have a bad day.
- Prioritise, and put yourself first sometimes
Sometimes the caring role can take over and we forget the relationships we have. Put time aside to have time with your partner (not as a carer) and friends. Everyone needs a break from caring.
- Don’t forget who you are and what makes you happy
However strong you start out, it’s easy to become isolated when you’re caring for someone. You can get overtired, or physically and mentally exhausted. Don’t forget who you are and what makes you happy, and take time out to do those things that do make you happy.
- Be prepared to have the worst arguments and the most laughter
Be prepared to love more than you have ever had to love before – while doing a nurse or care worker’s job with little financial support, no holidays and no recognition. Be prepared to have the worst arguments and the most laughter you’ve ever had in your life while sober. And be prepared to eventually grieve like only another carer will be able to understand.
More support for carers in Kirklees
If you are a carer who looks after a family member, partner or friend and need help and support, Kirklees Council offer various support and training including a range of free courses for unpaid carers.
There is lot of other support available check out this handy fact sheet for information.