Caring for someone can be physically and emotionally demanding. It’s important to look after yourself, as well as the person you care for. Being aware of the first signs of stress, and planning how to deal with them, can help you.
You may want to:
- have a general health check with your doctor
- make a list of activities you like doing and schedule in some time each week to enjoy one or two of them
- spend time away from the house and/or person you’re caring for. We have more information about other care options such as respite care. There are organisations that offer help to carers. You can search for local carers’ services and respite services on the Carers Trust website.
To help look after yourself emotionally, you may wish to:
- talk to other carers in similar situations, perhaps at a support group – Carers UK can help you find a group in your area
- ask the hospital or GP surgery for information that will help you manage the emotional challenges of caring
- talk to the nurses at the hospital where your partner, relative or friend is being treated
- look at some of the organisations and websites that offer practical and emotional support for carers, such as Carers UK and Carers Trust.
Time for yourself
Remember that no one will expect you to do everything.
You’ll need space and time for yourself to help you cope with the demands of being a carer.
One of the most important times to schedule time off from work is when the person you’re caring for is well so you can have some time to yourself. Try to make this a priority as it will be good for both of you.
You may find it helpful to read our information to help you cope with your emotions when you’re looking after someone with cancer.