Do you know someone who’s a carer? Are you unsure of how to support them? Let’s take a look at some simple ways you can support someone you know who’s a carer.
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In their 2018 survey, Carers UK found that:
This research shows the impact caring can have on someone’s wellbeing.
As the friend or loved one of a carer, it’s natural to want to help and support them. And there are things you can do, practically and emotionally, that can make their lives a little easier.
Helping with everyday tasks can save the person you’re supporting time and energy. However, it’s important to offer your help, rather than jumping in without asking. This could end up being counterproductive and make them feel like they’re losing control, which can be more stressful than having lots to do.
Try to identify specific tasks you could help with, rather than asking a general question. For example, you could offer to walk the dog or do the shopping, rather than ask, ‘Is there anything I can do?’
To identify where you could make a difference, make a list of everything that needs doing, prioritise where they really need help, and start there. You could also do some research into any conditions the person they’re caring for has. This will give you a better understanding of what areas they’re more likely to need extra help with.
It’s important to be sensitive to the fact that some people may not accept help. Keeping busy can be an important coping strategy. If that’s the case, respect their wishes and try not to force help on to them. But don’t be afraid to offer support again in the future. Sometimes just knowing someone can help is as valuable as the help itself. They may be more willing to accept support from you at a later stage.
Here are some ideas for practical tasks you could offer to help with:
Being a carer can be emotionally and physically demanding. Carers report feeling worried, upset, angry, and guilty.
They may also be dealing with things they’ve never faced before, such as applying for benefits or accessing health services. It’s important they have someone they can talk to about this.
One of the most important things you can do to support a carer is give them the time and space to talk.
These conversations can be challenging, especially if the person you’re supporting doesn’t really see themselves as a carer. But talking openly with someone they trust could be the first step towards them accessing the support they need.
Here are a few tips that could help get the conversation started:
Not everyone feels comfortable talking to friends and family, and that’s ok, too.
Carers often have less time to socialise. Some may be unable to leave the house regularly due to their caring responsibilities. In addition, carers on a reduced income may struggle to find the money for social and leisure activities.
But, just like everyone else, carers still need to know they’re valued and not being left out. Here are some things you could do to help them stay connected to their social circle:
Being a carer is challenging, but the right support from friends and family can make things a little easier.
We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students.
You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer page.
If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.
*Please note none of our other services are means-tested.