A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
How does caring affect your life?
Although for many carers, caring can have positive and rewarding aspects, there are lots of reasons why caring can also leave you needing support.
Caring can have an impact on many aspects of your life — below are some of these topics, and how and where you can access support and information.
Money and benefits
Caring can lead to poverty if you have to give up work to care or are managing on benefits. The aids and equipment needed to help care can add an extra drain on tight finances.
Carers in poverty will not be able to afford do the things that many of us take for granted, such as buying new or warm clothes, heating the house, house repairs, going on holiday or a short break, running a car or paying a bus fare.
Becoming a carer can feel like a constant battle to access help for you and the person you care for, for example getting the right diagnosis for your child’s condition, appropriate support at school for a young carer in your family, adaptations to the home, and benefits and other financial help.
Health and wellbeing
Caring can make you physically exhausted – you might be getting up several times in the night as well as caring throughout the day. You might need to lift and support an adult who is a lot heavier than you. You might be juggling caring with looking after the rest of your family and holding down a job.
Caring can leave you emotionally exhausted because of the strain of seeing someone you care about experiencing pain, distress or discomfort.
Caring can lead to stress, depression and other mental health issues. Caring can affect your relationship with your partner or other family members.
If you are caring in a couple you may no longer be able to have the physical or emotional life you had together, nor enjoy shared activities or plan for a future together.
Getting out and about
Caring can be isolating as you may find you can rarely leave the house.
It may be hard to sustain friendships or develop new ones or keep up with interests and activities you may have previously enjoyed.
Parkinson’s local advisers can help if you:
- have just been diagnosed and are looking for advice and information about your condition
- are looking for tips on how to deal with the day-to-day impact of Parkinson’s
- need emotional support
- want to find out more about the services available in your area
- want to learn about your rights and entitlements
- need help navigating the benefits process
- need information on where to find grants and financial help
- are looking for support on employment issues
- need support with anything else relating to your life with Parkinson’s
Your Parkinson’s local adviser will have a wide range of knowledge and expertise about Parkinson’s, and know about services available in your area.
Parkinson’s local advisers are there to turn to, so no-one has to face Parkinson’s alone.
Contact your local adviser
Your Parkinson’s local adviser is Anne Denton
Tel: 0344 225 3797
Or contact Parkinsons UK helpline 0808 800 0303 to be put in touch with someone near you.
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