It is inevitable that at some point there may come a time when your caring role comes to an end, because the person you care for has either passed away or has settled into a residential home.
We know this can be an extremely emotional and difficult time. To a greater or lesser extent you may experience feelings of guilt, grief, emptiness or loneliness, as well as relief at getting your life back.
When you lose someone close whom you have been caring for, for many years, it could have an especially big impact on your life as there are many adjustments to make, whilst grieving and coming to terms with your loss alongside the drastic changes you will now face in your life. It may be that you have only just realised you have been already been grieving for the person you cared for during the previous years.
You may have lost contact with your friends and your links with the wider community because of your demanding caring responsibility.
So when you caring role ends you may feel alone, vulnerable and not know where to turn to, yet have so much time on your hands and cannot decide what you should do.
Your most immediate need may be rest, the length of the rest depending on how long and how intense your caring role was. You will need to learn to take care of yourself, an alien concept to a carer, and will need others to take care of themselves.
Counselling can be very helpful to resolving painful experiences and other emotional issues; a health check from the doctor would also be advisable; and many carers benefit from holistic therapies. But above all, time and patience on all sides is essential. The damage that caring can do to a person: the isolation, the deprivation of normality and the penury will not be undone quickly. Therefore, here is some information and advice on some of the issues you may need to consider.
Take a Break
You may start to feel exhausted once your caring role ends, as it will be at this time that the physical, mental and/or emotional pressures you were under catches up with you and lets itself out.
Take a break, rest and take time to relax, look after yourself & let others look after you – it will have been long overdue !
Look after Your Health and Well-being
Make an appointment with your GP and ask for a Health Check. This is advisable as you may have been neglecting your own health and well-being for some time, something you may have not given much consideration to for a long time.
Many carers benefit immensely from holistic therapies. We run a Relaxation Clinic at Brent Carers Centre, which is very popular, give us a call to book an appointment and due to its popularity you may have a little wait. Alternatively you could treat yourself to a spa at one of the many health and beauty centres around London.
Talking things through can be very helpful to resolve any painful memories and feelings. Our carers counselling service can help you to come to terms with your painful experiences so that you can move on. To find out more information please Contact Us. There is also the Brent Bereavement Service which you may find helpful.
You may find there are many practical matters which may be required to be dealt with quickly, e.g. Housing Benefits, financial matters, etc.
Also, if you were in receipt of a council tax discount and/or exemption because of your role as a carer you will need to inform Brent Council of the change in your circumstances. We at Brent Carers Centre can help to support and guide you through this process by explaining what you will need to consider on how it should be done.
Rebuilding Your Life
Things will have changed dramatically for you during your caring responsibilities, and you must now think about the future and what you will need to do to restart rebuilding your life.
Rebuild via Volunteering
You might want to consider volunteering. It is a great way to refresh existing and/or develop new skills, build your confidence and meet new people, as well as offering much needed help to local people or organisations.
Volunteering can be a very social activity, and a good way to meet new people. Volunteering opportunities can range from befriending older or disabled people, or offering your skills (e.g. administration, fundraising, legal advice, etc.) to a local charity, to helping out on a local conservation project.
For further information please Contact Us and ask for our Volunteers Co-ordinator.
Rebuild to Work
We at Brent Carers Centre offers support to all carers who wish to return to work, we can assist in helping you to update and improve the following areas:
• CV Writing
• Interviews skills
• Job Search the latest vacancies.
Rebuild via Learning Something New
This may feel like a good time to refresh skills that you have not used for quite some time or the right time to learn something completely new. You may have gained some new skills or interest that you want to pursue. Also, you may not have realised that as a result of your caring responsibilities you have learnt new skills, such as in organisation, multi-tasking and managing complex negotiations. Therefore, taking a course and retraining yourself may be the right thing to do, and it can also provide the perfect opportunity to meet new people that have the same interest as you.
The local library and adult training centres are an excellent resource to find out about the latest courses available. If you have difficulties finding information on what you are interested in, then give us a call and one of our advisors will assist you.
Rebuild via Giving back
As a former carer you will have developed sufficient skills and experience to become a great campaigner for carer related issues or other health that you have been caring for. Sharing your knowledge and expertise with other carers can be a rewarding and satisfying role. We at Brent Carers Centre could always use the skills and expertise of a former carer to help improve the quality of support to existing carers. There are many different roles that you could choose from, e.g. facilitating support groups, becoming a carers champion, representing carers or Brent Carers Centre at focus groups, consultation meetings, becoming a befriender, becoming a Trustee, etc.
To find out more about giving back please Contact Us.
What we at Brent Carers Centre can do for you
As your local Carers Centre and provider of the Brent Carers Hub Service we are primarily devoted to unpaid carers who are actively caring, but this does NOT mean that when your caring role ends we immediately break off contact with you. We will continue to provide you with the support you need for up to 12 months after your caring role has ended, and you can still attend any Carers Support Groups for as long you consider is appropriate.
Our focus, and this may seem obvious, is to enable you to move on at what can be a quite traumatic point of your life.
Leaving Brent Carers Centre
We at Brent Carers Centre will continue to support you for a period of 12 months after your caring role ends. During this time you may continue to access all our services and in addition you will have access to:
• Support with moving on;
• Counselling to come to terms with your loss;
• Life coach workshops; and
• Employability Support Services.
At the end of the 12 month period you would be no longer be eligible for our support services. However if you still require support, information or advice after this time, we will provide you with details of a more appropriate service.