When caring ends
Looking after someone may be a large part of your life, but it is inevitable that your caring role will change over time. This may be because the person you cared for has recovered and no longer needs care, they can no longer be cared for at home, or because they have died. Whatever your situation it is important to realise that you are not alone. It will be difficult, but you can find help and support.
Moving to a residential and nursing home
If the person you look after requires more help than you are able to provide, and is unable to look after themselves, they may need to move into a residential or nursing home.
Care homes offer accommodation and personal care for people who may not be able to live independently. Some homes also offer care from qualified nurses or specialise in caring for particular groups such as younger adults with learning disabilities.
There are two main types of care home:
Residential care homes
These range in size from very small homes with few beds to large-scale facilities. They offer care and support throughout the day and night. Staff helps with washing, dressing, at meal times and with using the toilet.
This type of home will normally offer the same type of care as residential ones but with the addition of 24-hour medical care from a qualified nurse.
Find a care home
You can find a list of care homes on the Care Quality Commissioning website
Paying for care homes
Most people pay for their care home themselves, but many people are eligible for funding from the council. You can find our more on our paying for care page.
Losing someone close to you is devastating. If you have been caring for that person, the loss can seem even greater. How you cope with the death of the person you cared for is a very personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to feel following a death. Immediately after a death there are a lot of practical things to do, like registering the death and arranging the funeral, and family and friends tend to be around a lot more. It may be that only when all the practicalities are dealt with, and the people around you get back to their everyday lives, that you really start to grieve.
Rebuilding your life
The ending of your caring role may take some time to adjust to. Having more time to yourself may give you the opportunity for a much needed rest, but it can also leave you with a lot of time to fill.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, and to be able to make choices for yourself. Some people find that once they are no longer caring, exhaustion – both physical and emotional – catches up with them and they may feel unwell for a while. Having spent time caring for someone else and putting their needs first, it is really important to look after yourself and let other people look after you.
When caring ends, some practical matters will have to be dealt with fairly quickly, for example, benefits and housing, but you do not need to rush into making decisions about what you do next straight away.
Further information at Life after caring - Carers UK