Caring for someone who is very ill can be emotionally draining and distressing. Not only does Isabel Hospice support and care for our patients, we also provide practical and emotional support for carers at this difficult time.
This section is written for anyone who is providing care or practical, emotional or social support for a partner, relative, or friend with advanced illness living at home.
There are nearly six million carers in the UK providing care unpaid. Many carers also have paid employment, look after children or other dependent or frail family members.
Many carers find that taking care of someone is an important and fulfilling time in their lives where bonds between people are strengthened. Nonetheless there can be strains and worries, and the following information aims to offer useful advice and sources of support.
Carers have been asked what most concerns them.
The most common responses are:
- the danger of overwork and becoming physically exhausted
- the risk of ill-health (back troubles, poor sleep, depression)
- mental strain and anxiety
- stress on family relationships and friendships
- limitations on employment and career
- money worries and
- feelings of isolation, helplessness, sadness – and sometimes regret, anger and guilt.
As a carer you will probably still be coming to terms with the illness and the effects it is having on everyone in the family. Each situation is different and every person has their own way of coping. Illness brings many changes to everyday life and relationships. This can bring you closer to the person you are helping, but it can also be worrying and tiring and you may not know what help is available or who to call.
You may be involved in giving help yourself or arranging for other people to provide help with a wide variety of tasks such as:
- washing and dressing
- getting to bed and to the toilet
- housework, laundry or cooking
- spending more time with the person needing care
- responsibility for paperwork, bills and financial matters
- attending medical or hospital appointments or
- monitoring care being given at home by professional caregivers.
Most carers need help and support at some point so that the best care can continue to be given. Please don't be afraid to talk to your Clinical Nurse Specialist who can help you directly or link you with the best services locally.
Did you know?
Our In-Patient Unit has a small flat on the first floor that families may be able to stay in. The flat has two guest rooms, each containing two single beds. There also is a shared shower room with a sink and toilet. The flat is allocated on a daily basis and at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
Some family members prefer to stay with the patient in the patient’s room. Sleeping arrangements can be made to enable this.
Families staying with the patient can use the shower facilities of our guest rooms .
Alternatively, for families who do not wish to stay at the In patient Unit, or if the family flat is already occupied, please ask the nurse in charge for information on local hotels.