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  • Q&A - Looking after yourself when you're a carer



    9 replies

    Edited by MarkWilkin 9 years ago

    When you’re caring for someone with a terminal illness, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. But there are lots of things you can do to look after your own health and wellbeing. So ask us your questions and about what support there is available for you today.

    Susan Court will be answering your questions tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday (2nd, 3rd and 4th of June) between 3-4pm each day. You can start posting them now and she'll start answering them tomorrow when she's online. Just scroll down to read her answers.

    "The more that we work with carers, the clearer it becomes that what is really valued is something to help them to cope with the emotional impact of their role." 

    “We are providing experiences that make it possible for carers to re-engage in their caring role feeling more resilient, more capable, lighter, more relaxed and better able to cope and deal more effectively with the stresses and complexity of their caring role. “

    Susan leads Caring for Carers, a three-year Marie Curie project, funded by the Big Lottery in Wales. 


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  • Dee001

    Hi Susan I look after my father who has terminal cancer as well as working part time and at times it just seems like the only things I do is work, look after him and sleep. I don't blame anyone but sometimes I just really need time to myself and it doesn't come. Is there any way to get help or find ways to find time for myself that you can tell me about? Thanks. 

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  • SusanC

    Hi Dee time for yourself is very important as so many carers describe losing their identity in situations similar to your own and find comfort in sharing experiences with others avoiding isolation.

    Depending where you live you may be able to access the Marie Curie Helper service. Sometimes just having someone to chat to over a cup of tea, help you get to an appointment or run an errand, or just be there to listen when you need a friendly ear is what would be most helpful. That’s where our Helper volunteers come in – we’ll match you with a trained, dedicated volunteer who will spend up to three hours a week visiting you at home or talking over the phone.

    Marie Curie Helper volunteers are provided free of charge and are available to people aged 18 or over with any terminal illness, and their families.  Here is a link to how you can find out more about the service:

    The Marie Curie website also provides a wealth of information and support that you may find useful.

    Susan C

    Marie Curie

    Caring for Carers

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  • SarahH

    Hello I'm caring for my mother right now, she's got terminal cancer and was diagnosed only a few months ago but is fading fast. We're living day to day at the moment just dealing all the problems she's facing as they come and I barely have the chance to think about the future. I'm worried that I'm just going to fall apart when this is all over as I just find myself in tears just thinking about it. What can I do?

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  • SusanC

    Hello Sarah, reading through your question and learning more about your situation is becomes easy to understand how difficult it is for you the think about your future.No one experiences grief in the same way. Whatever you are feeling try to remember its normal and there are people who can help.

    For caregivers self-care is a must. One suggestions from carers that we have supported would be to divide your time into two jobs, caring for your loved one and caring for you.  It may be useful to set some boundaries and do the basics as proper sleep, food, and exercise helps your body cope with the emotional stress.  Give yourself permission to take care of you.

    Anticipatory grief is real and it is hard. Crying is allowed and so are the feelings that swamp you. You are doing a unique job and can take confidence that you are important. The emotion, stress, and fatigue are normal; but take courage, you are impacting the life of someone you love and are making a difference to their life.

    The Marie Curie website also provides information especially for those caring for a loved one living with terminal illness.







    Susan Court

    Marie Curie

    Caring for Carers








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  • MarkWilkin

    Thanks for your answers Susan and thank you to everyone who asked questions over the last few days.

    We'll be back with more Q&As in the near future so keep an eye on our Facebook page and on Twitter for any announcements.

    If you've got any other questions please start a new topic and our community will be happy to chat with you.


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