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When your caring role comes to an end

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

If you are an informal carer and are worried about how to care for someone during coronavirus (COVID-19), there is information, advice and support available to help you.

For more information see Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information, advice and support for informal carers.

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Planning for end of life care
  3. Bereavement support
  4. Life after your caring role

Overview

Looking after someone may be a big part of your life, but it is likely that your caring role will change over time.

Your role might change because the person you cared for:

  • has recovered and no longer needs care
  • can no longer be cared for at home
  • has passed away

Whatever your situation is, you are not alone. It will be difficult, but you can find help and support.

If the person you look after is unable to look after themselves safely and you can't provide the care they need, please let us know as soon as possible.

There are other options which can be put in place to help reduce or take over your caring role.

To talk about your options please contact the Let's Talk Team on 0191 424 6000.

Planning for end of life care

When someone is nearing the end of their life, they might be thinking about and planning how they will be looked after. 

You can find out more about end of life care at NHS: End of life care.

Bereavement support

Losing someone close to you is hard. If you have been caring for that person, the loss can seem worse.

How you cope with the death of the person you cared for is personal. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

After a death there are a lot of practical things to do like registering the death and arranging the funeral, and family and friends might be around a lot more.

You might only start to grieve once everything has been dealt with and the people around you get back to their everyday lives.

The best help and support can come from the people you know and who you know best.

Talking about what has happened, and about the person who has passed away can help you to come to terms with their death, and to cope with the feelings you have.

Where to get help

There are organisations that can help you and offer support:

  • Your GP can put you in touch with a local bereavement counsellor if you'd like more formal one-to-one counselling
  • You can self-refer yourself to see a counsellor to South Tyneside Lifecycle Primary Care Mental Health Service
  • You might also be able to get counselling support through your employer's Occupational Health service
  • Tyneside and Northumberland Mind - provide mental health support services
  • Samaritans - 24 hour phone helpline offering emotional support to people in distress or despair
  • CRUSE Bereavement Care - bereavement support to children and young people
  • Kooth - online counselling and support service, available to all young people across South Tyneside aged between 11 and 25 years
  • Escape Intervention Services - counselling support to young people aged 4 to 25 years, and their parents/carers

Life after your caring role

The end of your caring role may take some time to get used to.

Having more time to yourself gives you the opportunity for rest, but you may also feel like you have a lot of time to fill.

Taking time for yourself

Resting and letting yourself have a break now your caring role has ended, is just as important as taking on something new.

You could take some time for yourself just to do things you enjoy, such as reading, going for a walk, or seeing family/friends.

Get support from former carers

You might feel isolated after many years of caring. There may be support from other people in a similar position. 

You could find out what support your local carer's organisation offers to former carers.

If you are used to always having things to do, it can be hard to stop and think about what you would like to do now.

When the time is right, you might want to:

  • take time for yourself
  • get support from other former carers
  • learn something new
  • start volunteering
  • start, or return to employment

South Tyneside Adult Carers Service (STACS) can give you more information. Call them on 0191 406 1531.

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