It can be hard to adjust to changes in your life when your caring role ends. It may be that the person you care for has moved on to a residential or nursing home, is terminally ill, receiving palliative care or has died. Taking care of your relative or friend may have been your main focus for some time and there may be many activities that have been a part of your daily routine that you don’t need to do anymore.
Feelings you may have
People usually experience a wide range of (sometimes conflicting) emotions. You may suddenly feel a lack of purpose, now that you don’t have someone to look after any more. There may be some aspects of caring that you’ll miss. Or you may feel relieved at the pressure being taken away.
You might find that people who had always asked you about the person no longer know what to say. They may talk about everything except your relative or friend who’s died. This could be upsetting, or you may be grateful.
It’s likely you’ll have shared experiences with the person that no one else knows about. If they’ve moved to care/nursing home or died it can seem as if part of your own life has disappeared too. You may feel lonely and you may need support to deal with feelings of bereavement.
Living your own life again
This is likely to be a painful time for you and you may not feel like taking up activities that you used to enjoy, just yet. But it’s good to rediscover your own needs and interests after putting yourself second for such a long time.
When you feel ready, you may begin to think about going back to work, taking a course, volunteering or rebuilding your life in the community. You might like to discover activities and social events you could get involved in.
We work in partnership with Merton Uplift (www.mertonuplift.nhs.uk/) to provide a range of services to promote the positive well-being of Carers including access to psychological services.