Looking After Yourself
Caring for someone can be really rewarding but it can put a lot of demand on you both emotionally and physically. Research has found that caring for others can have a major impact on a person’s health and wellbeing.
Register as a carer with your GP
As soon as you begin caring, it’s important that you tell your GP that you are a carer. This can be recorded on your medical records. If you haven’t seen your GP for a while, arrange a health check.
Eat healthily and get regular exercise
A balanced diet will keep your body strong and give you enough energy to provide the best care for the person you are caring for and yourself. Also make sure you get regular exercise and look after your back – read Carers UK – Back Pain Guide.
Breaks or time off from caring are important. Whether it’s an hour every day, a couple of hours a week or a two-week holiday, we all need some time to ourselves, and carers are no exception. Taking a break can recharge the batteries and give you the energy to carry on caring. Without an occasional break you are more likely to become exhausted or even unwell.
Having a break also means that the person you care for has a change of scene, a chance to talk to and meet other people. It may also make life easier in an emergency if there are regular alternative arrangements already in place.
For further information about taking a break visit Carers UK – Taking A Break.
If you want to have a longer break, with or without the person you care for, here are some of the options (if you are caring for an adult):
- A respite break/short stay in a residential home for the person you care for
- A care agency/care worker to live in your home while you take a break
- A sitting service i.e. someone coming into your home to stay with the person you care for while you go out for a short time
- The person you care for attending a day centre or other activity on a regular basis
- A holiday for yourself or together with the person you care for
Support is also available through our support groups which are available to carers registered with Carers MK. Support groups give you the chance to meet carers in similar situations and to share common experiences, frustrations and information.
Are you caring for someone?
Do you look after someone who cannot manage without you because they are ill, frail or have a disability?
If so, you are a carer and Carers MK can help you.