Caring for someone with a life-limiting illness and in particular, when journeying through their end of life stages, is a special and sometimes challenging role.
Our volunteers and staff are here to support you so you don’t have to do this alone.
Sometimes people do not identify themselves as carers, even when they are filling this role. Most people see themselves in the context of their relationship first, whether it is as a spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling, friend or neighbour. If you are providing more assistance to the one you are caring for than you would normally, then you are a carer.
It can be very tiring – physically and emotionally, so it is important to look after yourself and get any additional support you can access. We recognize that often there are many demands on your time, including medical appointments, treatments in hospital, financial responsibilities, family needs, and life in general.
Caring for yourself
Caring for someone with a life-limiting illness can be both rewarding and challenging. (A life-limiting illness is one likely to cause death in the foreseeable future.) It is important to find ways to balance your caring role and other responsibilities, so that you maintain a sense of wellbeing. Looking after your physical and mental health is important, so be sure to make this a priority. There is no need to feel guilty about caring for you.
- Get some exercise.
- Get enough sleep.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Be social. Keep in contact with your friends, other family members and usual social groups.
- Practice your own spirituality or religion.
- Do something for yourself every day. Consider activities to help clear your mind including walking, gardening, meditation or listening to music.
- Take a break.