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Carers Week 2020: Supporting family carers

8 June 2020

Today marks the start of Carers Week 2020, which runs from Monday 8 June to Sunday 14 June. The annual awareness campaign celebrates and recognises the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers and we want to focus our attention this week on the role of family carers.

As providers of homecare, we know that caring for a loved one can be a highly rewarding role, but we also understand the challenges family carers face. We also know that family carers are often supporting their loved one seven days a week, without a break, putting their own needs and wellbeing to one side.

It’s so important for family carers to take time to rest and recharge their own batteries, so throughout this week, we will be sharing tips and guidance for family carers on self-care and today’s focus is on mental wellbeing.

Five ways to mental wellbeing

Connecting with others – Taking a break away from the person you’re caring for and connecting with other family, friends and neighbours using apps such as FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, can build a sense of belonging and provide you with emotional support.

There are also dedicated online forums for carers. You may find it easier to talk to other carers because they are in the same position as you and will have a better understanding of some of the challenges you face.

It’s an real cliché but a problem shared, really is a problem halved and talking to people and sharing your experiences will take a weight off your shoulders.

Giving – Giving to others can create positive feelings and a sense of purpose. Family carers help others every day and sometimes it’s easy to forget the impact this can have. Remember to take time and reflect on all the great things you have done day-to-day and helped your love one achieve.

Learning – Learning a new skill or hobby can boost self-confidence and help you connect with others:

  • Consider learning a new language using an app on your smartphone
  • Podcasts are also great on the go
  • Watch a documentary on a topic you’re interested in i.e. wildlife

Taking notice – Remind yourself to pay more attention to the outside world and the things around you. Getting some fresh air outdoors (following Government guidelines around social distancing) and time to think can be great for your mood. Keep your phone in your pocket, look up and enjoy your surroundings.

If you’re struggling to find time for yourself, Right at Home is here to help. Our friendly CareGivers can be there to provide temporary care for your loved one, so you can take time out to care for yourself. You can find out more about our respite care services here.

Being active – Regular exercise can help with symptoms of depression as it releases endorphins that make you feel happy. Just 20-minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference. If leaving the house for 20-minutes every day is difficult with your care duties, consider using an exercise DVD so you can work-out in the comfort of your own home.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where we will share a 20-minute, in-home, full body workout!


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