Being a carer whether it be as a professional or looking after a close friend or relative in need of care can be tremendously rewarding. It is important to give yourself the best chance of success in your new career or to know your nearest and dearest are getting the right level of assistance they require.

Being a carer at any level does come with challenges and it’s important that you check in on yourself to make sure your own health isn’t compromised because of this. There are many home care support services that do offer assistance to carers and we’ll show you where to look for them. We’ll also highlight what you need to keep in mind as a carer to support your client, friend or family member as best you can.

Get help from your local council

Apply for a carer’s assessment to see if your town council is able to provide additional support to the person you’re caring for, or to you directly.

They could help with stuff like:

-Extra support with housework and gardening
-Help to find out if the person you’re caring for is entitled to benefits and how to apply
-Free access to gym membership and other facilities

You will also be entitled to a carer’s allowance so apply for that as soon as you can, to minimise any financial burdens you could experience while caring for someone else.

Find like-minded people for additional support in carer groups and forums

Find other people in a similar situation to confide in for support and camaraderie. Here are some good online resources:

– The Our Health Service website – An great place to find vital information on all aspects of being a carer.
Family Carers Ireland – An excellent resource to connect with home care professionals as well as some less experienced to help you on your journey

Make a contingency plan

As Murphys Law suggests, bad things are less likely to happen when you are prepared for the worst. In the unfortunate event that you do become ill and are unable to continue as a carer, make sure you have all the requirements for your client, friend or relative documented, for example:

-Name and address
-Medication requirements
-Next of kin

You may also be eligible for an emergency card scheme that can provide respite care for the elderly to take the pressure off while you’re getting back on your feet.

Enquire about aids or home adaptations

You’ll be eligible for any home adaptations up to the value of £1000 so if there is something that will make your client or loved one’s life easier be sure to apply for it. If it’s something of higher value then grants are also available.

Providing home health care can be both mentally and physically demanding so make sure you allow some regular time off to look after your own health as well as those depending on you!