Looking after yourself
It can be so difficult when you’re juggling looking after somebody else, perhaps your family, work and the everyday things that happen in life, to find the time or energy to look after yourself too. Caring can be physically and emotionally demanding and it really is important that as a carer you look after your own needs as well as the person you care for.
Throughout our website we hope you will find information to help you with your caring role. You can download our Carers guide below for some in depth information and we have listed some brief information here:
- The Trust’s MSA Nurse Specialists are here to help you with your own needs as well as those of the person you care for so please do contact them. They are always happy to look at practical problems or sometimes the mixed emotions many carers face.
- Sharing your experiences with others in a similar situation can often help. You might like to look at the Support Group section which shows some of our upcoming Support Groups and events.
- Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their own needs if you are looking after a relative or friend who cannot manage without your help. Your carers assessment is your opportunity to let the local social services department know about the things that could make caring easier for you.
Keeping well yourself can be very difficult because of the stress and physical demands of caring, but it is so important for your own mental and bodily health as well as to help you maintain your emotional and physical strength to cope and carry on. We have listed a few suggestions to help you keep well:
- Eat well – a healthy well balanced diet will help keep your energy levels up
- Stay fit – at least a little fresh air and exercise every day
- Relax – read, ring a friend, listen to some music – some time for you
- Training – look for local courses, e.g. lifting and handling techniques
- Have a break – even a short break from caring will make a massive difference to how you feel and your energy levels
- Holidays – Disability Rights UK provide links to suitable holiday centres and tourism sites, and you can also get a travelling and MSA factsheet from the Trust.
Benefits and financial help
There are a range of benefits to support people with a serious illness and those caring for them. The Trust has provided a brief guide of what is potentially available and who might be eligible for support. However, we are not in a position to have extensive knowledge on this subject and the guide has been designed to signpost you to where you can find out more.
The information sheet is available in the Factsheets section of the website located here.
For more information about what is available to you, the following organisations have extensive advice and support: