Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring. Its impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.
Balancing life and work alongside the responsibilities of caring can be difficult, but there is help out there to support you do this. If this is you, check out the following ways to get connected to help and support, to other carers, and to colleagues.
What help is available in Kirklees?
When you’re a carer there’s a lot to take on board, and we all need help working it all out, but don’t worry! Carers Count is our Carers Information and Advice Service and is the best place to start, give them a call for further information 0300 012 0231. They’re really friendly, and you can expect to be listened to, taken seriously, treated with respect, and supported in a way that meets your individual needs.
Supporting Carers Week in Kirklees
We’ve hooked up with our partners to celebrate our carers across Kirklees and there’s loads going on. Don’t forget you can also follow us and share your stories @carerscount
Hints and Tips for Carers
Helpful tips for carers #1:
“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.
Helpful tips for carers #2:
“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.
Helpful tips for carers #3:
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.
Helpful tips for carers #4:
“Be kind to yourself – it’s ok to have a bad day”
Try to have a bit of me time. Find @CarersCount 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.
Helpful tips for carers #5:
“Prioritise, and put yourself first sometimes”
Prioritise! 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.
Helpful tips for carers #6:
“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.
Helpful tips for carers #7:
“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.
And finally… thank you
Caring can be difficult, but it’s very important. Our social care and health services rely on carers: we rely on you and the support you give. We greatly value everything you do.