Carers can sometimes let their own needs take a back seat while they are preoccupied with the health and wellbeing of the person they care for. But looking after their health and wellbeing is equally as important - if they aren’t well then how can they support someone else?
It’s important that carers know how to care safely (for example, they understand how to lift correctly), eat healthily, get plenty of rest and have relaxation strategies that work for them.
Stress can build and negatively affect carers, and those around them, both physically and mentally. So, it’s important to recognise the signs of burnout, including anxiety, exhaustion, mood swings, withdrawal, or depression. Services like Lifeline can provide compassionate support for people in a crisis 24/7.*
*Please note, this service is not affiliated with Biogen ANZ.
Speaking to a support worker, family or friends can help carers find ways of managing their caring role.
Some carers find comfort and support in talking to others via peer support groups. Whether it’s asking for advice on specific things like what to expect when the person they care for is going to hospital, or just discussing how they feel, there are face-to-face groups for carers as well as confidential online forums.
No matter what it is, there’ll be a carer support group, forum or Facebook page that can help. Some support groups are also aimed at carers of people with SMA.