Carer’s Health and Wellbeing
Caring for a friend or relative can be hugely rewarding, but at times it can also be tiring and stressful. Carers often put their own needs last. While looking after a person with dementia it can be easy to forget about Looking After Yourself.
Carers can look after themselves by looking after their:
- Physical Health:
- Take regular exercise, eg. walking for health or swimming
- Self-care such as healthy eating , responsible drinking
- Attend appropriate health screening and dental checks, ask about the Annual Flu Vaccination
- Get regular short breaks from your caring role. Ask family and friends to help out if appropriate and seek assessment for Day Opportunities and Respite /Short Break Services by contacting Customer Services on 0300 123 4510 and ask for Social Work or Carers Link
- Make sure you tell your GP that you are a carer, especially if it affects your physical health, remember that you can ask for a longer appointment if you feel you need time to talk
- Learn as much as you can about dementia from the East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network
- Take control. Get a Carer’s Assessment Contact Carers Link
- Access carer’s advocacy, information and support in dealing with services by contacting Carers Link
- Learn about carer’s rights, accessing benefits and dealing with employment issues.
- Believe in your ability to care well for the person with dementia
- Try to maintain relationships with your own circle of friends
- Make new friends who are also carers. Getting Support, there are carers groups and de cafes across East Dunbartonshire. Contact Carers Link or the East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network for more information.
- Learn about changing relationships. Ask your GP or Carers Link for support. See End of Life Care Planning
- Engage with leisure activities both for yourself and together with the person with dementia. Access Community Support. Take up new opportunities to enhance your wellbeing eg. Life Long Learning, if time permits
- Make sure you tell your GP that you are a carer, especially if you find yourself getting stressed or depressed, remember that you can ask for a longer appointment if you feel you need time to talk
- Financial management. Get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau for issues relating to finance, pensions, benefits, housing, income maximisation, energy efficiency etc.
- See our page on Benefits
- Learn about carer’s rights to help you with benefits and employment issues. Contact Carers Link
- East Dunbartonshire Council can help with many issues eg. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction
- Pensions Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)
- Taxation Tax Help for Older People
- Self Directed Support