Looking after yourself as a carer

As a carer, you have a right to see your own health needs met - both physical and emotional. Keeping well yourself means that you are better placed to carry out your caring role.

Your doctor

Your GP is a good starting point to get information and support. Your doctor may not know that you are a carer, so make sure that you tell them. Talk through any issues you have, especially if you are experiencing stress or anxiety. Your doctor can be one route to social services, counselling and organisations that may be able to help.

When making an appointment, ask for extra time with your doctor to talk through matters. Make a list of questions beforehand - this will help the doctor understand the concerns you have about your own health and that of the person you care for.

If you find it difficult to get to the doctor because it's hard to leave the person you care for on their own, ask for a home visit.  It may also be possible to make other arrangements like prescriptions being delivered to your door. Ask if this can be arranged between your doctor and your pharmacist, if necessary.

Your local Trust

Your local Health and Social Care Trust is responsible for providing services to help carers. This could be a service to help you cope at home, like a home help, or a day centre for the person you care for, allowing you to take a break from your caring role.

To find out if you are entitled to services and what support would help you best, the trust needs to carry out a carer's assessment.

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