If you do any of these you are considered a carer:
- Visit a relative who lives far away once a month to check on their wellbeing
- Arrange hospital appointments by telephone for a parent
- Live close enough to a disabled friend to be able to drop in every day to provide a meal and some company
- Move in with a relative to help them recuperate after a major operation
- Be on hand to provide 24-hour constant care for your partner
Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age.
A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherewise because of frailty, illness or disability.
Tips on looking after yourself as a carer
- Eat a balanced diet – please see our list of opening times for restaurants here on our sites. You are able to get all meals to go so you can bring it back to eat with your friend or relative on the ward.
- Make sure you drink enough fluids – aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses or mugs of any non-alcoholic drink each day.
- Take regular exercise – the hospital grounds are easily accessible to walk around.
- Take regular time for yourself every day – we can try and arrange for someone to sit with your friend or relative while you go off and have some time to yourself. We do not expect you to have to continue caring for your friend/relative while they are in hospital with us, we want you to have the choice.
- Make sure you get enough sleep – if you feel like you can’t leave your friend or relative then please ask the staff if they have any pull out beds available or a comfortable chair and blankets.
Essential things we recommend
It is really important that you register as a carer with your own GP. They will be able to provide you with lots of support and information including your entitlements and support services.
Many GPs are now also running health checks for carers looking at things such as your blood pressure, weight, urine samples and stress management for example. As a carer you are also entitled to an annual flu jab from your GP.
Coming out of hospital
As a carer we recognise that you are central to the planning of care involved in helping your friend or relative return home from hospital. We will ensure that you are involved from the beginning all decision making.