Working and caring can be a challenge, so it’s important to look after yourself and to take the time to make sure you have enough support.
This could include connecting with others in similar situations, taking a break from caring, or exploring other support. Find out more:
- Online meetups | Carers Scotland (carersuk.org) (external website)
- Looking after yourself | Carers Scotland (carersuk.org) (external website)
- Carer centres | Care Information Scotland (careinfoscotland.scot) (external website)
Getting support early on can help you to manage working and caring. For example, if you’re just starting to look after someone, having support in place early can help you to adapt your arrangements in the future if things change.
Talking about care with the person you look after
- Some people can find it difficult to speak to the person with care needs about getting more support. For advice on having these conversations, you may find it helpful to find your local carer centre: Carer centres | Care Information Scotland (careinfoscotland.scot) (external website or speak to others in a similar situation at Online meetups on Carers Scotland (external website).
Support from your local authority
The Carers (Scotland) Act gives all adult and young carers in Scotland rights. The Act is designed to listen to carers, make support in different areas more consistent and prevent problems – helping sustain caring relationships and protect carers’ health and wellbeing.
Under the act, every carer has a right to a personalised plan to identify what is important to them. For adult carers this is called an ‘adult carer support plan’ and for young carers (under the age of 18 or 18 and still at school), this is a ‘young carer statement’.
Carers also have the right to support to meet their eligible needs. Local authorities must consider whether that support should include a break from caring.
Support yourself by planning ahead and making back-up plans. This can help make care sustainable and manageable if things change. For example, write down what care the person needs and what others should do if you can’t continue providing support for any reason.
Share caring with others
Consider if you want to do all the caring yourself or share with others. By sharing care, the person you care for could be supported if you’re unavailable. You’ll also find it easier to make time to look after yourself, and to combine work and care if you want to.
You might want to talk to family and friends to see if caring can be shared. Or you may be entitled to support from your local authority. To support these conversations and understand your current situation, try to map out the people and services you interact with for support. This can help you spot any gaps in support and to discuss with others how caring could be shared.
Looking after yourself
Looking after yourself is important and will put you in the best position to combine work and care. When someone you know needs care, you can feel guilty for making time to look after your own wellbeing. Recognising these feelings and learning how others have dealt with challenging care situations can help protect your wellbeing, relationships, and your ability to support the person who needs care.
Get support to cope with guilt and difficult emotions on Carers Scotland (external website). You can also call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm).
Breaks from caring
You might be able to take a break from caring while the person you care for is looked after by someone else. You can find out more at Short breaks from caring | Care Information Scotland (external website).