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Looking after yourself as a carer

It’s important to look after yourself so you have the energy to do the things you enjoy and carry on caring.

Speak to your GP

If you’re finding caring tiring or difficult, it can help to tell your GP you’re a carer and discuss the impact this is having on your own health. They will be able to offer you advice and support. You may be entitled to additional health services such as a free annual flu jab if the person you care for has a serious or ongoing health problem.

Sleep and eat well

Although it can be difficult, try to make sure that you eat healthily, stay active and get enough sleep.

Ask for help

Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself. If you have relatives who live nearby, try to be honest with them if you need a hand or want to share the responsibility. As a carer, you're entitled to a carer's assessment from your local council. This can help you identify support for you in your caring role.

Find out about respite care

Respite care provides support for your loved one whilst giving you a break from caring. Read more about respite care and how to arrange it.

More about respite care

Find out how respite care could help you and how to arrange it

Find time for yourself

Time for yourself to do something enjoyable or relaxing can be very helpful. It’s a good idea to take up a hobby or activity, such as going to an exercise group or an evening class, if you can.

Taking part in an activity you enjoy will give you the opportunity to do something for yourself – it’s important that you have your own interests and make time to pursue them where you can.

Your local library can provide information about social activities, events, education and courses.

But even if you don’t have the time for an activity or class, simply taking ten minutes whenever you can to have a cup of tea or get some fresh air can really help.

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

Other organisations that can help

If you need some more support with being a carer, there is help available.

Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, campaign harder for older people’s rights and fair treatment and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.

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Last updated: May 18 2020

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