Advice for carers: Looking after yourself | Age 51Թapp


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Looking after yourself as a carer

Over time, caring can really take its toll. It’s vital that you take time to look after yourself as well as the person you care for – not just so you can carry on caring, but so you have the energy to keep doing the things you enjoy.

Reach out and ask for help

Don't feel like you need to do everything yourself. If you have relatives who live nearby, try to be honest with them if you need help or want to share the caring responsibility.

You're entitled to a carer's assessment from your local council, too – this can help identify support available for you to help you in your caring role.

Find out more about carer's assessments

Speak to your GP

If you’re finding caring tiring or difficult, it might help to tell your GP you’re a carer and discuss the impact that this is having on your health. They'll be able to offer you advice and support.

You may also be entitled to additional health services – such as a free annual flu jab – if the person you care for has a serious or ongoing health problem.

Stay healthy and well

Although it can be difficult, try to make sure that you eat a healthy diet. If you're struggling to eat enough, try eating something that you fancy – it's better to eat something, rather than nothing. 

Staying active and getting enough sleep are also important parts of staying healthy and well – they help your mind as well as your body. 

Find out more about staying healthy and well

Arrange some respite care

Respite care provides care and support for the person you care for whilst giving you a much-needed break from caring. 

Respite care might involve at-home care for the person you care for over an afternoon or taking them to an activity centre for a day.

Find out more about respite care

Find time for yourself

Doing something enjoyable or relaxing can be very helpful when you have a caring responsibility.

If you're able to, make time for something like an exercise group or an evening class. Taking part in an activity you enjoy will give you the opportunity to do something for yourself – it’s important that you have your own interests and make time to pursue them where you can.

Your local library may provide information about social activities, events, education and courses.

But even if you don’t have the time for an activity or class, simply taking ten minutes whenever you can to have a cup of tea or get some fresh air can really help.

See what activities and groups your local Age 51Թapp runs


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Last updated: Jun 21 2024

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