Date Revised:

It is important that you take care of your own health, even if you are busy looking after someone else's health. 

Being healthy is not only important for you, but it also helps the person you care after too.

Stay well this winter

Winter can be seriously bad for our health but there a number of things you can do to keep you and your family well this winter. Visit get ready for winter on NHS Choices for helpful tips and advice. 

Is the strain of caring affecting how you get on with your partner, family and friends?

Taking care of your relationships is a great way to take care of yourself. This could be with your relationship with your partner, or with family and friends. It can be really hard to recognise how caring is causing problems as you may feel that you are betraying the person you care for if you say anything. This might be particularly hard if you are caring for your partner.

Have a look at our online relationship guide for carers.   

The guide has lots of relationship support if you care for your partner. For example, it has pages to help you cope with the challenges of caring for your lover, and to help you learn how to argue in a healthy way.

There’s also relationship advice if you care for someone else and that this is putting a strain on your relationship.  This includes relationship help if you care for a parent, or if you care for a sibling

Older carer's survey

Our recent Carers Trust older carer’s survey shows that of the 422 carers that responded:

  • 86% had health problems of their own,
  • 67% said their health condition was as a direct result of their caring role,
  • 57% had cancelled or postponed their own doctor’s or hospital appointments, and
  • 81% said they felt lonely and isolated and 83% said their loneliness and isolation was having a negative impact on their health.

You can email your local health service to ask them to add a question to the free NHS Health Check which would ask if someone has a caring role. The aim is to increase identification of carers and ensure carers get appropriate support for their own health early on, reducing the risk of their own health deteriorating.

More ways to take care of yourself

  • Find out about getting a break, including respite care. 
  • Check if you, or the person you care for, can claim benefits.  
  • have a carer's assessment so you can discuss your needs with your local council. The assessment is free and your local council will use it to decide what support to give you.
  • Contact your local carer services to see how they can help to take care of your own health. Find local care and carer services.
  • Make sure you let your GP know that you are a carer as they will record this on your notes and may be able to offer you extra support. Also see 10 top tips to get the most out of your GP appointment from Healthwatch.
  • Enroll to take the Caring with Confidence online courses.  They can help make a positive difference to your life, and that of the person you care for, by developing skills and knowledge for your caring role.

Find your local carer services to see what support there is in your area for carers. 

Next update due: June 2017