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.

Respite Care/Breaks

Our respite care section gives details on the range of opportunities you can look into to take some time out from your caring role.

Carers Benefits

You can ask for a Carer's Assessment and you may be entitled to benefits or other support services – see our information on money and benefits.

Contact your local carers’ services

In some areas The Princess Royal Trust for carers’ centres and Crossroads schemes (which together form the Network Partners of the merged charity Carers Trust) offer individual and group support specifically for people who care for someone with a learning disability, or carers with a learning disability, and these can be a great source of information and support. See if there is a local carers service near you.

Caring with Confidence

The free Caring with Confidence sessions are organised by local centres and are aimed at helping you develop your caring knowledge and skills.

Discussion boards

Join an online forum to discuss your problems, to share your experience or just to connect with other carers.

Specialised Organisations

Find other relevant organisations that specialise in the health condition the person you are caring for is suffering from. Many of these organisations also have helplines and online forums.

Local Parent or Family Carer Support Groups

Join your local parent carer or other family carer support group,

Practical Information and Advice

This information sheet on taking care of yourself, put together by Boots, includes plenty of relevant information and advice on everyday things such as eating habits, sleeping habits and ways to reduce stress.

Articles with Useful Information

We have also created the following articles, which cover key areas that are relevant to looking after yourself:
Managing stress
Eating healthily

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NHS Wales runs a free 6 week course of two and a half hours per week to help carers in Wales to acknowledge their own health needs. Over the 6 weeks they explore different tools that can be used to ensure carers look after themselves as well as the person they care for. This course is free for carers. To book a place call Carol on 02920 350620 or email her at carol.stingl@wales.nhs.uk

Still can't find what you're looking for? Why not post a message on one of our discussion boards or join our online chat room where you can meet, and possibly pick up tips and advice from, experienced family carers in similar situations to yours.