A carer is a person who provides unpaid help regularly to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who is frail, has physical or mental health illness or disability.
It is well known that caring for someone with a stroke can be a very difficult burden to bear. It can take its toll on the physical and psychological health of the carer. Surveys have shown that depression, anxiety and physical disease are much more common among carers than the general public as a whole.
Here is some advise and information for carers:
- If at all possible, don't take on the whole responsibility yourself. Find others to share it with you.
- Talk to relatives and friends to see if they can offer some help.
- Use the services that the local authority and the health services have available, even if at first you think you can manage without them.
- Plan regular breaks. If your partner cannot be left alone, see if a member of the family will come and take over your role for a week or two.
- If not, ask social services to arrange a period of respite care in a residential or nursing home.
- See if there is a local branch of Crossroads, an organisation that can provide a sitting service for perhaps a few hours a week.
- If you are beginning to feel the strain, talk to your GP, who can either offer direct help or put you in touch with a counsellor.
- There may also be a carers' group in your area. Carers Gloucestershire is one such group which provides information, support and advice.
- Connect is a charity for people living with aphasia (speech problems after a stroke). It offers befriending services for people with stroke and aphasia in Gloucestershire..
- A set of videos providing information for carers on various aspects of stroke care is available from the Avon , Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset Stroke and Cardiac Network website
Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Crossroads
Telephone: 01242 584844
Forest of Dean Crossroads
Telephone: 01594 823414
Stroud & Gloucester Crossroads Caring for Carers
Telephone: 01453 755999
Connect in Gloucestershire
Contact: Teresa Cicuttin, Befriending Coordinator. Tel 07896 682438