Support for carers when caring stops

I’m not sure where to put this message but I guess as it’s affecting my mental health it feels right to put it here.

I’ve been a full time carer for nearly 10 years. The person I care for is so complex that there is no social support in the community, he has gone into respite and without an adequate support package I doubt he will come home now. I struggle to look after him by myself when he is at home as he, unintentionally, demands a lot of attention but now that he is on extended respite I miss him. I feel like I have devoted every minute of the last 10 years to him and now I’m lost as a person in my own right. I feel isolated as my family live so far away. It’s like a bereavement but without the death.
I had my carers assessment and they gave me payments which have paid for my PA but obviously once I stop my caring responsibilities these payments will stop and I’ll no longer be able to afford her. So not only do I feel as if I have lost my partner I also feel as if I’ve lost the only person who I did have supporting me.

I guess my question is what support, if any, is there our there for former full time carers? What other support would I be entitled to if anything? My doctor says there’s no chance I could go back to work - the result of experiencing pronged stress which has caused carer burnout to a massive extent.
Any help, advice or support would be massively appreciated x

Try finding some fun community activities. See if your local library can offer you advice and support in order to cope. Alternatively contact Carers UK to find out more about their share and learn activity sessions each month as well. Make notes on your career options too- local charity stores always want new volunteers. Talk to someone at carers uk about activities for carers.

Some local authorities fund support for former carers: it took me years to get the authorities in my area to agree to it, but they fund it through local carers organisations, so that’s a first port of call. Carers UK is starting up a Carers Cuppa group online for former carers. More info here: Care for a Cuppa for former carers - All about caring - Carers Connect - The Carers UK online community


Do you have a local Meet Up group? They offer social events in some areas. Also if you are on Facebook, see if there are any social groups in your area. If you are a reader, what about joining a Book Club? I agree with Thara - worth checking out the local library and see what you can find. Would vol work be an option? Good way of meeting people. I know the charity shops are desperate for volunteers. In my area, we have a couple of Community Cafe’s staffed by volunteers, that offer events and some support .

You bound to feel disorientated and it will take a while to adjust to the new freedom. Is it worth approaching your GP and asking for advice? I know there is a wait for counselling in most areas, but it may well be worth considering? Good luck.

Hi Cheeche,

Thank you for your post in the forum and for sharing your experience as a carer. Sorry to hear that you are no longer able to look after your loved one and this has affecting your mental health.

Just wanted to add to the comments from others here regarding the support that you can access. We have weekly Share and Learn activities that you might be interested in taking part on. For more info please visit Share and Learn | Carers UK

We have also scheduled a Care for a Cuppa for former carers where you can spend time talking with others who understand the particular challenges you may face when caring comes to an end. It will take place on Monday 23 January at 3 pm. For more details Book here

We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities that might interest you, for more info please visit Volunteer with us | Carers UK

Hope this information is useful and that you have found the support from others in the forum helpful.

With good wishes,

Thanks everyone for your advice and support.

I have spoken to my GP who is fully supportive. She has been with me since I started my caring role and she is also my partners GP so is aware of how this has affected my mental health. I’ve also been in contact with CAB who are helping me with the financial changes my new circumstances will cause.

Unfortunately I live in a semi rural area and transport to and from my local town is not easy and costly, I worry with the credit crisis and with the increase in alI my outgoings I won’t be able to afford multiple journeys.

Im only in my late 40s and should be able to move on with my life but the thought of that in itself is totally overwhelming.

1 Like