A carer is anyone who is looking after another individual who due to their illness, frailty or disability, needs help and support with activities of daily living. This can include helping someone with personal care, medication, shopping or taking them to appointments. A carer can be a wife, husband, mother, daughter, father, son, partner, neighbour or friend.
Recognising your role as an informal carer can be very important and help you recognise when you may need help, support or information.
Staying well and informed can help the person you support. This might entail something you haven’t done very often –like saying “YES” to help.
As a carer, you are important to the person you care for and we want to work in partnership with you both to provide any additional support you may need, or just be there when you need to talk.
Caring for someone with a life-limiting illness can be satisfying and rewarding. It can also be challenging, worrying, lonely, exhausting and an emotional rollercoaster.
You may also have other concerns and responsibilities like work, childcare, money, the future or your own health.
It might feel overwhelming at times. You don’t want people to worry about you, or the person you care for to feel guilty, or a burden. The process for decision making may change – outcomes might be dictated by the circumstances rather than choice.
When things feel tough and someone asks how you are, it’s not always easy to answer. If you tell them the truth it might be hard for them to hear. It’s often easier to say, “I’m ok”. It’s not always true but it helps change the subject.
To help you cope with these issues, we are here to support you now and in the future.
What We Offer
- Individual and/or family support – emotional and practical
- Regular newsletters
- An online directory of information and resources
With our support, you will have the opportunity to:
- meet or speak with a member of the social work team
- meet or speak with other carers
- be heard and receive support that is meaningful to you and those important to you
We can help you find your way around health and social care systems and ensure you receive all the support you are entitled to. A formal carer assessment can be helpful and you might also want to have an ‘in case of emergency’ plan.
Ask a member of staff, or volunteer, to refer you to the hospice’s Patient and Family Support team or ring 020 8343 8841 and ask to speak with a member of our team. Our contact details are also in our carer newsletters.
Please note – during current Covid 19 restrictions we can only offer limited home visits and most of our support is telephone or online. If the person you care for is on our Inpatient Unit, you will have the opportunity to meet with a member of the Patient and Family Support team during your visits.