Help for carers in changing times

If you have been the unpaid carer of an ill relative or friend for some time but are now at the end of your caring role – perhaps due to the death of your loved one – a new guide has been published this week to help you through this significant change in your life.

‘When Caring Comes To An End’, published jointly by the charities Carers UK and Help the Hospices and the Action for Carers and Employment (ACE), is an easy to read, practical guide with sections covering key issues under three main headings: when the person you care for moves into a residential or nursing home; when the person you care for dies, and life after caring.

The aim of the guide is to help carers looking after family and friends with chronic illness or disabilities, unpaid, to identify key decisions that might have to be made, the actions they might have to take and the main sources of practical and emotional support.

Emily Holzhausen from Carers UK said, “Caring coming to an end can have an enormous impact on carer’s lives, practically, emotionally and financially and yet carers are given very little information to help them plan for such a big change in their lives.

“Not planning properly for this time can have devastating consequences and that is why Help the Hospices and Carers UK have teamed up to produce this essential guide which will be helpful for carers and professionals alike.

“There is no ‘right’ way to feel when you find yourself free of your caring responsibilities following a change in circumstances such as the death of someone you have cared for, for months or even years.

“It is not unusual for carers to experience a period of illness themselves or to feel guilty about returning to a ‘normal’ life free of caring responsibilities.”

Tanya Sealey of Help the Hospices explained, “Carers have sometimes devoted so much time to caring that they have let other aspects of their lives go, such as work, friendships and outside interests. It can be extremely hard to pick up the pieces and start again.”

The guide includes plenty of factual information as well as signposting on a range of topics including Advance Care Planning, welfare rights and benefits, residential or care home support, hospice care and what to do when someone dies, including registering a death and arranging a funeral.

There are also sources of bereavement support and ideas about life beyond caring such as volunteering and helpful information about going back to work.

The guide is available free of charge to carers, with a small charge for postage and packing for bulk orders. Call 0845 241 0963 to order a copy or
download ‘When Caring Comes To An End’ by clicking here.