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Reviewing your caring role - A Guide for Carers

Supporting someone, especially long-term, can be a big responsibility. It’s a good idea to review your caring role regularly, and discuss any challenges with the person you support or with friends and family members. If your friend or family member has significant, ongoing support needs, think carefully about whether a caring role is right for you, and whether you can continue to provide the level of help they need.

What to do if you feel like you can’t keep caring?

If the person you support is no longer able to look after themselves and you feel you’re unable to provide the level of help they need, for whatever reason, you need to discuss together what is best for both of you. You may find that they’re also not feeling happy about your situation. If the person you support is finding it difficult to discuss this, or you’re finding it hard to talk to them, it may help to get some input from a friend, family member, another carer, or your doctor or social worker.

Allow time to find out about all the options available, if possible.

Also talk to the doctor, social worker or NASC organisation of the person you support to arrange an assessment (or reassessment) of current support needs. There may be more help you can get at home, for example, increased support from social services, equipment in the home, house modifications, or more frequent short-term stays in respite or residential care for the person you support.

Residential or nursing care may be a difficult option for you and the person you support to consider, but it may be a sensible or realistic option. It may feel like you’re letting the person you support down, or that you’re rejecting them, but it’s important to remember that you can only do so much as a carer. If you want to explore residential or nursing care you should talk to the doctor, social worker or NASC organisation of the person you support.

Caring can be physically and mentally exhausting and there are often limits to the level of care that can be provided at home. It’s better to put the best supports and care in place than to struggle on until you reach a crisis point.

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