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Life after caring

The purpose of this factsheet is to signpost the reader to services able to help them move on when their caring role has ended.

‘Everyone says life must be much easier for me now my husband has died – it isn’t’

‘There used to be people in and out of my home all day, suddenly there is no one’

‘How do I pick up the threads of my own life?’

Caring for a relative or friend can become a way of life for many carers.  When the person you have been caring for dies, you have to cope with the loss of your relative or friend and the loss of your way of life.  You may also experience feelings of loss if the person you care for moves into a Nursing Home as you may feel your role as a carer has changed.

You will probably recognise some of the mixed emotions experienced by carers, such as grief, possibly a mixture of relief and guilt, loneliness, isolation, loss of identity, anger, or a feeling of being completely numb.

A change in lifestyle, such as declining health, bereavement or a changing carer role may trigger feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression.   For some people being able to talk about how they feel is an effective way of coming to terms with the problem, and can also act as a ‘release valve’.

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