What to do when your caring role changes or ends
If you’re caring for someone and their needs increase, or they move into a care home, or they die, it can be a difficult time. Whatever the reason for your role as a carer changing, you may experience mixed emotions.
If the person you care for needs more help
If the condition of the person you’ve been caring for deteriorates and you’re no longer able to provide the care they need, then it’s time to think about arranging a different system of care.
The person you look after may require more support than you have the time or energy to give. Ask their local social services department to assess or reassess their care needs.
Their changing health needs may entitle them to more services and support at home than before. Get a carer’s assessment for yourself too, as you may be entitled to extra support.
If, however, the person you care for needs more intensive care, they may need to consider the possibility of moving into sheltered housing or a care home.
This is a big decision and you should both take the time to look at all the options open to you.Think about other types of housing that may be suitable, such as extra-care sheltered housing.
If the person you cared for has moved into a care home
This might have been a difficult decision, and perhaps you feel you’ve let down the person you were looking after. Remember, you’re only human and there are limits to the care you can provide at home.
If you’re becoming exhausted or the person you care for is getting worse, a care home can be the best option for you both.
If you’re concerned about helping them to settle in, read our advice on how to make the transition easier.
If you find you’re still spending a lot of time caring for the person, you may still be entitled to a carer’s assessment. You also still have the right to request flexible working.
Once the person you care for stops getting disability benefits (usually after four weeks), you’ll no longer be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
If you received a carer premium or addition with means-tested benefits, this will continue for an extra eight weeks after your Carer’s Allowance stops.
This could be a good opportunity to get a benefits check. Contact your local Age UK to see if they can give you a benefits check or use our benefits calculator.
What benefits can you claim?
Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Age UK's Benefits Calculator can help you, quickly and easily, to find out what you could be claiming.
If the person you cared for has died
As well as the loss of the person you cared for, you may also face the loss of the relationships you built up with the professionals involved in their care.
Being a carer can be demanding and you may have lost touch with family and friends; getting back in contact with them or meeting new people may be the last thing you feel like doing while coping with a bereavement. As a result, you may feel very alone or isolated.
It may help to talk to family and friends who knew the person you cared for, to share memories and support each other.
Or you might prefer to contact an organisation that offers support for people who have suffered a bereavement. Specialist organisations such as Cruse Bereavement Care can offer counselling, advice and practical help, and put you in touch with local bereavement groups.
You can continue to get Carer’s Allowance for up to eight weeks after the death.
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.