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Active living

Being A Carer For A Family Member

Being a carer for a family member is becoming common. With developments in medicine enabling people to live longer, there are now around 6.5 million people providing care around the UK.Although caring for loved ones can be very fulfilling, it can also be difficult at times, and being prepared for anything the role can bring will help you cope for every eventuality. Whether you’ve just started caring for a loved one or you’ve been doing so for a while, we have collated information and resources that you may find useful.



How To Be a Carer for A Family Member

Although there’s no distinct guide to being a carer for a family member, there are several things you can do to make the role easier.  Incontinence is common in older adults and MoliCare® are here to help you with a range of bathing, cleansing and bladder leakage products to help you care for your loved ones.

MoliCare® recommendations:

1. Bathing without a bath or shower - MoliCare® Wash Gloves and Shampoo Cap

2. Cleansing intimate areas - MoliCare® Moist Tissues

3. Caring for intimate skin - MoliCare® Barrier Cream

4. Bladder leakage and able to use the toilet independently - MoliCare® Premium Mobile disposable incontinence pants

5. Incontinence and unable to self toilet - MoliCare® Premium Elastic disposable adult nappies

  • Research Your Loved One’s Condition – Understanding as much as you can about the illness or disability of the person you are caring for will help you look after them more effectively

  • Register As a Carer with Your GP – You may be entitled to additional health services as a carer. This includes support with physical health issues caused by caring, reminders to book in for a flu jab every year, flexible appointments that work around your care schedule and mental health support

  • Talk To Other Caregivers – Being able to talk to others who understand your situation can help you to look after your own wellbeing

  • Encourage Independence – Being a carer for a family member doesn’t mean you have to do everything for them. Encourage strategies and technologies that let your family member to remain as independent as possible

  • Connect With The Person You Care For – taking the time each day to talk and connect with the person you are caring for can help both parties

  • Inform Your Employer of Your Caring Responsibilities – Caregiving may affect your work life, so letting your employer know the responsibilities you’ve taken on can enable them to help you deal with any increased stress

  • Take Care of Your Own Needs – Exhaustion, burn out, and distraction can make it difficult to connect with the person you are caring for and negatively affect your mental health. Attending to your own needs outside of caregiving will help you balance your life and de-stress

  • Know Your Limits – Knowing your limitations will give you a healthy balance between caregiving and relaxing. Communicate your limits to all involved in caring, including doctors and family members, to set clear boundaries

Who Is Considered a Carer?


Unfortunately, many carers don’t understand that they have taken on the role. On average, it takes them two years to acknowledge their role as a carer1. This is because the lines between taking on a caring role and the natural development of the relationship are often blurred.


According to the NHS, a carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who isn’t able to do so themselves due to an illness, disability, infirmity, mental health issue or addiction2. The person is unable to manage everyday tasks without the support of their carer. A carer can be anyone, including children or adults, who takes on these responsibilities. However, you cannot be considered a carer if the care you provide is through voluntary work or part of a contract of employment.

What Does a Carer Do?

There are many different responsibilities that unpaid carers take on when caring for someone else. Depending on the nature of the situation, these could take up some or all of your time. For example, it’s necessary for some carers to move in with their loved one to provide constant support, whereas other carers may only visit once a day. The amount of care provided depends upon the condition of your loved one, but being a carer for a family member may entail assisting with:

  • Maintaining hygiene (Read more about how to maintain good hygiene for someone you care for)
  • Mobility support
  • Physical support
  • Ordering medical supplies
  • Arranging hospital appointments
  • Household chores
  • Shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • Managing the household budget
  • Social interaction
  • Emotional support
  • Ensuring the rights of the person you care for are being met3

You may also be caring for someone who has challenges taking care of their own personal cleansing and hygiene, or have bladder weakness or incontinence as a result of mental of physical impairment. We recommend Disposable Pants for people who can get to the toilet themselves usually, but might need some protection in case of an accident. While MoliCare® adult nappies provides a solution for someone who can't self toilet during the day and night time with a range of sizes and absorbencies that can also help with maintaining their dignity should a bladder leakage occur.

How To Look After Yourself While Caring for A Family Member


Although naturally, your focus is on the well-being of the loved one you are caring for, it’s important to consider your own health too. Being a carer for a family member can be tough, but seeking extra support will help both you and them in the long run. There are several aids and benefits that you are eligible for as a carer, and the extra support could make a huge difference.

The Benefits of Caring for A Family Member


Being a carer for a family member may be a difficult job at times, but it can bring you and your loved one together in ways others wouldn’t understand. Also, the role of a caregiver will encourage direct conversations that bond you together, helping you focus on what’s really important to you. So, enjoy this incredible role as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to ask for help to protect both you and your loved one.