Being a Carer | 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.
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 (Check out our Hartmann Direct website)
- Arranging hospital appointments
- Household chores
- 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 Pull Up Pants for people who can get to the toilet themselves usually, but might need some protection in case of an accident. MoliCare all in one slips provides a solution for 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 MemberAlthough 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.
1. Carer’s Assessment
2. Carer’s Benefits
3. Respite Care
● Homecare from a paid carer
● Day care centres
● Sitting services
● Getting help from friends and family
● Respite holidays
● A short stay in a care home[vii]
4. Asking For Help
● Carers UK – 0808 808 7777 (England), 029 2081 1370 (Wales)
● NHS – Social Care and Support Guide – 0300 123 1053
● The Mix – 0808 808 4994
● Citizens Advice – 0800 144 8848 (England), 0800 702 2020 (Wales)
● Money Helper – 0800 138 7777 (England), 0800 138 0555 (Wales)
● Samaritans – 116 123
● Rethink Mental Illness – 0808 801 0525
5. Use a high-quality products
Incontinence pads and other products and devices can make life easier. With high-quality products, a good fit and right absorbency level, everything is easier. Our Incontinence Solutions by MoliCare help caregivers manage the everyday challenges of caring for their loved ones. Premium Elastic product and Premium Form & Fixpants are designed to support with incontinence, while Skin Care products help support with incontinence associated dermatitis. Feel free to browse in our Hartmann direct website to find a match for your needs.
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.