It is important to remember that you as a carer have needs too, be they to pursue an interest or hobby, continue in your job, to see your GP about a concern about your own health, or to be able to take a break from caring. If you take care of your own needs, you are more likely to be able continue caring for longer.
Taking a break
Alzheimer’s Society provide a useful summary of ways to look after yourself as a carer, including taking time for yourself. Although this article relates to carers of people with dementia, much of it is relevant to all carers.
Being able to take a break from caring is invaluable for recharging your batteries. Doing something for yourself, that you enjoy, is a really important way of keeping your life in balance.
Taking a break could mean:
- Taking time out to go for a short walk
- Going to a night class to learn something new
- Meeting with a friend for a cup of tea
- Taking a short break or a holiday
- Going to a support group, training or drop-in session at Newcastle Carers.
Sometimes, just leaving your normal routines behind, and going away, or doing something together with the person you care for, can be a break.
For more information about breaks see:
Carers breaks and holidays
Going on holiday can be a really good way to take a break, although for carers it can prove challenging. Carers Trust gives some useful information around this issue and what to consider.
If you are able to take a break, find more information about carers breaks and holidays and advice around going away with the person you look after:
- Leuchie House - caring respite breaks with 24 hour nursing care, physio, outings and activities.
- Carers Holidays - search for accessible holidays.
- Contact a Family - useful downloadable guide Holidays, play and leisure for families of disabled children.
- Newcastle International - information on travelling with a hidden disability, including the option to print of a 'passport' which you can complete with information about what may help you.
Help with the cost of taking a break
Newcastle Carers 'Carers Wellbeing Fund' is a grant for carers of up to £200 to help carers to support carers in need and to improve their own health and wellbeing. This may include applying to the Carers Wellbeing Fund for a short break within the UK or day trip. Download the "Carers Wellbeing Fund" leaflet from the "Download Now" button at the top for more information.
If you are worried about leaving the person you care for on their own while you go out consider whether any aids and adaptions may help keep them independent and safe while you are away. Newcastle City Council has useful information about this.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family or friends, for example, to sit with the person you look after, enabling you to go out. Often friends and relatives want to help but are unsure how to help. Helpguide.org gives some tips about asking family and friends for help with caring.
If you need to arrange more formal care such as help from paid home care providers or a short stay in a residential or nursing home, to enable you to take have time to yourself, ask Newcastle City Council for a Carers Assessment. Depending on your assessed level of need, some financial support may be available to help with the cost of replacement care.
Also, see our Practical Support section for information on arranging care and support.
Pursuing an interest or hobby can be important in enabling you to take a break, and can be good for your well-being.
For more information about activities see:
- Active Newcastle - activities and what to do in Newcastle.
- Information NOW - information on community centre in Newcastle and their activities.
- Newcastle Carers Carer Cafes - support for carers with a variety of free activities at each Carer Cafe. Cafes run in Byker, Lemington and Gosforth.
- Cycling in the City - different cycling sessions to learn to ride and road skills, and help build confidence.
Is there anything wrong with this page? Please let us know here