It can be really tough seeing your spouse face illness. You may also be at the stage of taking on more caring responsibilities for a partner or a parent. For many of us, this is not something we have faced before. Either way, adjusting to being a carer can be a difficult adjustment. We hope this guide gives you some initial guidance on how to feel supported at the beginning of this process.
What makes someone a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a friend or family member who is unable to manage on their own due to illness, disability, frailty or old age. This can include tasks such as shopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking and personal care.
Can I register as a carer for a partner?
If you provide the kind of support for your spouse as we mentioned above then you are already performing as a carer.
If you want to get a little more practical support as a carer from your local council, then you can apply for a carer’s assessment. The assessment is a kind of interview with a trained professional where they can learn a little more about your role as a carer. Once it’s done, the council will let you know what kind of practical support they can provide you with.
Tips for caring for your husband at home
- Make sure that you take time for yourself.
- Be organised.
- Enlist the help of friends or family members.
- Make sure that the person you are providing support for is comfortable and has everything they need.
- Provide emotional support.
Making sure that the person you are caring for is comfortable and has everything he needs is crucial for providing effective care. This may include creating a safe and supportive environment at home, arranging for transportation if necessary, and ensuring that your husband has access to medication and medical appointments. It’s also important to provide emotional support, as deteriorating health can be an extremely difficult experience for the individual themselves.
What resources are available to me (in the UK)?
There are a number of resources available to carers in the UK. This includes financial assistance, as well as access to support and advice.
Some of the financial assistance entitlement to carers that are available includes:
- Carer’s Allowance: A weekly payment made to carers who meet certain eligibility criteria.
- Carer’s Credit: A credit that can be used to help pay for care costs.
- Disabled Person’s Tax Credit: A tax credit available to people who are caring for a disabled person.
In addition to financial assistance, carers also have access to a range of support and advice. This includes information about services that are available in their local area, as well as support with tasks such as shopping and laundry.
How to look after yourself emotionally as a carer?
Caring for someone can mean that you start overlooking your own needs at a time when more is being asked of you than before. It is important to take time for yourself in order to recharge and relax. This may include taking a break, going for walks, spending time with friends or family, or making sure you have time to take part in the activities that you enjoy.
If you are semi-retired or still working as a volunteer or in another way, it is also important to communicate with your team or employer that you are a carer. This will help them to understand what type of support you need in order to manage your carer responsibilities, and may also help to ensure that you are eligible for support such as more flexible working arrangements.
Finding time for you
Finally, it may be a good idea to get involved in activities that will help you ease your burden as a carer. You can join support groups, which provide a safe and supportive environment for carers to share their experiences or take classes like meditation or Tai Chi which can help take the stress off your shoulders.
The Joy Club is an online activity club where you can try new things and meet people who share your interests and experiences. We host over 40 live online events each month for all levels of experience, including: regular exercise classes; creative workshops in painting, drawing and writing; and relaxing sessions like mindfulness, a self-development group, coffee mornings and expert talks with nutritionists and psychologists. The Joy Club is free to join and you can also enjoy an interesting and uplifting article to read each weekday, as well as weekly emails about what our members are up to.