Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of carers have had to provide more care. It has left many exhausted and close to burning out. They urgently need more support to help them through winter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of carers and those they are caring for. A majority have had to provide extraordinary hours of care for loved ones with increasing needs during the crisis, often without the usual help from family and friends, and with limited or no support from local services.
As a result, many people providing care have been left exhausted, socially isolated and close to burnout. Adding to these considerable pressures, carers have also taken a financial hit, and seen their health and wellbeing decline.
You can read more about the challenges faced by carers during the coronavirus outbreak in a report entitled , Caring behind closed doors: six months on (October 2020), here.
- Self-Care for Carers (It is important that you take care of your own health, even if you are busy looking after someone else’s health):
- Trust yourself and know that it’s ok to cry – Being a carer isn’t easy. You need to allow yourselves moments to release the anger, sadness and frustrations.
- Be honest about your own needs -Don’t make out to health professionals that you’re coping when you’re not. Outwardly you can appear like you’re coping but inside you are a mess.
- Keep your batteries charged – Remove yourself from your environment, take time out for yourself, even if it’s a lunch with friends, a walk in the park, a coffee at a café.
- Keep family and friends informed – Let family/friends know how you are with a group e-mail, so you do not need to keep repeating yourself each time you see them.
- Say yes to help – Your emotions are all over the place, and you’re worried and stressed. Don’t think you can do it all yourself because it will take its toll in years to come
- Accept Kindness from others – Listen to those who can see objectively how you’re coping. Find someone to talk to about things that distress you so they don’t build up. The more you can feel reassured that you’re doing everything you can, the less likely it is that feelings will keep troubling you.
- Look for guidance and support – Speak to your GP, get in contact with carer’s services to obtain the ongoing support you need. Self-help groups/coffee mornings can help to not feel so alone and isolated. Ask other carers for their guidance on how they cope.
- You have to be well to be a Carer – Your situation can get much worse if you become unwell.. Eat healthily and exercise, get support to take a mini-break Get friends or family to do a rota of visits so you have some time for yourself. Let them know how much you need that break and how important it is for you and for the person you care for.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – Learn to accept you’ll have days when you feel like you can cope and others when you fall apart and nothing is working. Take yourself out of your immediate environment for 10 minutes – get some fresh air, a cup of tea, read a magazine, put your feet up and stop for a moment.
Help & Support:
Lancashire County Council https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/adult-social-care/caring-for-someone/
Carers Link Lancashire https://www.carerslinklancashire.co.uk/
Carers Cumbria http://www.carerssupportcumbria.co.uk/
Blackpool Carers Centre Blackpool Carers Centre
Healthy Caring Guide NHS England, in partnership with Carers UK, Carers Trust Age UK, Public Health England, and older carers themselves, has published a Practical Guide to Healthy Caring.
Relationship Support The strain of caring for someone can affect how you get on with your partner, family and friends. Taking care of your relationships can help you to take care of yourself. Details of organisations which can help with relationship support.
Lancashire Mind https://www.lancashiremind.org.uk/pages/22-our-services