When someone becomes ill, with a serious progressive illness, you will find yourself providing support and practical care. You may be the husband, the wife, the daughter or friend and you probably will not call yourself a carer but will become the most important person to the patient and to their care.
It is easy to get lost in all the demands that are made on you. We recognise that you, as the carer, are very important. Without you who would there be to look after the person you love and that will often be for 24/7?
It is not unusual for carers to feel lonely, frustrated and even angry that this has happened to them. Sharing these thoughts and feelings with others in a similar situation can be very helpful.
Changes in your circumstances may cause all sorts of practical issues that you have not faced before. Other carers who have been there can be a valuable resource. St Richard’s can provide expert advice. We have a Citizen’s Adviser social workers, counsellors, clinical nurse specialists and other professionals who can help and who are invited to the Carers Group.
During the pandemic, our Family Support Team regularly phone carers to check in with them for a proper chat to find out how they are.
Carers can share worries, and discuss whether they need support from other departments – such as occupational therapy, or Hospice at Home. Often the team can identify potential problems early on, and help to solve them.
A fortnightly drop-in group for carers also runs over video call, giving them a chance to chat to others in a similar situation.
Members of staff from caring teams join these calls to talk about their services, and the call ends with a 10-minute seated yoga session, for those who want to take part.
If you would like further information or would like to be invited to the group please contact the Gateway Team on 01905 763963.