Support for Carers

It is sometimes difficult to identify with the term ‘carer’ because the person you are supporting may be your parent, your child or your partner and you may see your caring role as a natural part of that relationship. You may not have to carry out any physical tasks for them, such as personal care or lifting, but the support you give them can still be both emotionally and practically demanding.

While caring for someone can be rewarding, there may be times when you find yourself dealing with difficult and stressful situations. You may feel that you are alone and that no-one can help. You may have feelings of confusion, guilt, loss, frustration and even anger.

There is always the unpredictability of caring for someone with mental health needs – never knowing when a crisis situation may arise and how to deal with it when it does. It can also be difficult to cope with behaviour that can be unpredictable or difficult to manage at times, particularly if the person you care for does not recognise that they need help.

Some carers find it helpful to talk to other people who are experiencing similar situations. Carer forums operate throughout the Trust and many local carers groups also provide this kind of support. Many helplines and mental health organisations can also provide information and support for carers. We can help to put you in touch with sources of help, advice and support.

Are You A Carer?

You are – if you provide unpaid support to someone who needs extra help to manage. Age is no boundary to caring; you may be a child or a young person or an adult that is prodiving the care.  You may be caring for an elderly parent, a spouse, a child, friend or neighbour. It could be that you care for the person in your own home or in theirs.

Many individuals, when they begin to look after another person, do not necessarily consider that they are carers. The task they undertake is often carried out because of the love and respect they have for the person they care for or in friendship for another person they know well. For many it will be a gradual process or it could happen when they least expect it.

The carer may be caring for a person:

  • with a physical or long-term illness or condition
  • with a mental illness
  • with dementia
  • with learning disabilities
  • or any one who is vulnerable and need care and support

EPUT’s PALS service can provide information on local and national organisations that carers can contact to get help, support, advice, also information about the rights carers have, and information on carer’s assessments, or just some help or general advice.