In order to survive as a caregiver you need to also care for yourself and there are some important points to take on board:

  • Make some time for yourself – read a book, go for a walk, have time with your friends
  • Accept help from others – people will offer help, accept it and don’t try to do everything yourself
  • Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep to keep yourself healthy – it will be easier for you if you are in good health.
  • Seek help for yourself – talk to your own friends, join a support group, online discussion group or seek more formal help through your GP. You need an outlet for your feelings of anxiety, fear and frustration.
  • Be polite but firm when asking questions and stick with it till you get them answered.

The NHS Carersdirect website has information that is important for caregivers such as:

  • Money and legal issues including Carers Allowance
  • Practical issues
  • Your rights
  • Practical supports
  • Emergencies
  • End of life issues
  • Mental health support
  • Transport
  • Asylum
  • Vulnerable people
  • Your wellbeing

They also have a free helpline number for confidential information and advice – 0808 802 0202.

Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines and mobiles or you can request a free call back. You can ask for a call back in one of more than 170 languages or send a query by email.

Another service that they provide is a search facility to find services local to you.

For more information please visit their website at

http://www.nhs.uk/carersdirect/Pages/CarersDirectHome.aspx

The Carers UK website also has invaluable information for caregivers and there is a forum to chat to other caregivers.

http://www.carersuk.org/

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