Looking after someone can be emotionally draining. At times it can leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed.
It can also mean that you have no time to meet up with friends and talk about your worries, and that you become lonely and isolated.
Sometimes you can find yourself getting angry and resentful. This is perfectly natural, but it is not healthy for you or the person you look after. It's important to look after your mental wellbeing.
There are plenty of people out there who can listen and help with advice and support. Read about financial support.
Carers First provides support services to unpaid carers in the Essex area.
The Samaritans run a 24-hour helpline where you can talk in confidence about your feelings. You can call them on 116 123 (24-hour helpline).
Get a break from caring
Essex County Council may be able to help if you need a break from caring for the adult you look after. To find out if they can, contact Carers First.
How Carers First can help
Carers First can help you identify and access suitable breaks for you, the person you care for, or your whole family, as well as help organise a care or carer's assessment with the council.
Breaks for people who have had a carer's assessment
If the person you look after has had an assessment of their needs, their care and support plan may have provision for respite care. This may be provided as:
- support in a care home where the person you are looking after goes for a short stay
- day care, where the person you are looking after goes to a day centre, or takes part in activities away from home, allowing you a break from caring
- someone to sit with and help out with the person
To arrange a care assessment for someone you care for, contact Essex County Council Adult Social Care on 0345 603 7630.
There are options available to support the person you care for while you are away. This may be provided as:
- a package of care to support the person you care for to stay at home
- arranging for the person you care for to be looked after in a care home
To arrange a carers assessment, contact Essex County Council Adult Social Care on 0345 603 7630
Accuro have a friendship scheme which provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to take part in social and leisure activities within their local community. They operate in the Harlow and Uttlesford areas. This also allows carers to take a short break from their caring role. For more information, visit their Adult Friendship Scheme page.
More information and advice
NHS Carers Direct has useful information and advice on respite care and the value of breaks for carers.
Carers UK has directories of respite care providers, and holiday companies which specialise in breaks for carers, or care holidays.
The Carers Trust offers information on respite care.