Caring for the carer

Guinness Care News Article - 1 September 2018
Caring for the carer

Our childhood memories are wonderful to look back on - splashing in the pool, climbing that big tree, getting into mischief.  Our long-suffering parents were usually on hand to treat a scraped knee, to calm first night nerves in the school play, or witness our first (wobbly) bicycle ride. 

As life goes on, things naturally shift and change.  For many of us, there comes a time when those who once looked after us so well now begin to need care themselves.  We might find ourselves popping in more often after work, or making more frequent phone calls to make sure all is well.  However it happens, we may realise at some point that the traditional parent-child roles seem to be subtly reversing.

Caring for your parent’s personal and household needs on a regular basis, while often very rewarding, brings its own challenges.  Juggling your own life alongside someone else’s can be tiring.  Sometimes you may feel unable to cope with the physical or emotional demands of caring for your loved one.  If you’re holding down a career, it can become an exercise in time management.  Where strong emotions are involved, these will need to be managed so that you can cope with your new role.

It is estimated that the time unpaid carers devote to their loved ones amounts to a value of around £132bn, according to Carers UK.  It’s clear from this statistic that you are not alone, and thankfully there is support available for those times when it feels like a struggle.  You may find this close to home, by reaching out to a friend or relative for advice or help with the care-giving.  It may be that some family members or friends have been unaware of things changing for your loved one, so talking together about the support needed could be very helpful for everyone concerned.

Or you may find it through an organisation, like the ones listed below:

You don’t have to go through this alone.  If you would like any support or assistance with your loved one’s care, then get in touch with us here for a chat about the ways we can help to support you.