Losing someone close to you can be devastating. If you have been looking after that person, the loss can feel even harder and change a huge part of your life.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and death can be a very different experience for each person. But it’s important to remember you are not alone, and to seek help and reach out if you need it.
Life after caring
Whether you had been looking after someone for a long time, or had only recently started due to a loved ones deteriorating health, it can be hard adjusting to life without your loved one and your caring role.
This time might mean you have time for a much needed rest or break, or it could mean you have the opportunity to do the things you love or begin something you’ve always wanted to do. But having more time to yourself can be daunting to some carers, and you may even find that you feel more tired and fatigued than you did when you were caring.
After caring for someone it’s really important you take time for yourself and let yourself adjust to your new time or schedule. But once you do feel ready to get back into things again, you may want to take on a new challenge or activity to get you connected with your community again and meet new friends.
If you have time to spare, you could consider volunteering. As well as offering your skills and much needed help to local charities or causes, volunteering is a great way to meet new friends, gain new skills and feel a sense of achievement.
Do-it.org is a great website for finding volunteer opportunities dependent on your skills, how much time you want to give and more – do-it.org
Volunteer with us at Carer Support Wiltshire
We are always looking for volunteers and many of our volunteers used to be carers themselves. We have a wide range of roles you can get involved with, from befriending, talk and support and our carer involvement group – carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer
Share your story
For some one-off volunteering, why not share your story with us? Having stories from carers helps us to raise awareness and connect with others who may be going through similar situations, to share you story. Contact us at email@example.com or 0800 181 4118
Many people choose to raise money, fundraise and campaign for causes their loved one may have experienced in their memory. You may also choose to fundraise or donate money to us at Carer Support Wiltshire as a way of supporting other carers looking after loved ones – carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/get-involved/fundraise
Going back to work
Looking after someone may have meant you had to give up work to care for them, or maybe you started caring from a young age and were never able to get onto the career ladder.
A lot of carers worry they won’t be able to get a job because of a break in employment – but think about all the skills you have gained by looking after someone and how you could apply this to a job.
Perhaps you helped with medication or finances and have learned new skills in maths or time management, or maybe you’ve taken courses in first-aid. Just because you may have a break in your job history doesn’t mean you haven’t been working.
Learn something new
You may be itching to learn something new, or feel that you would like to refresh skills that you might not have used for a while. You might have gained new skills or interests from your caring role that you also want to pursue. Taking a course is also a great way to meet new people.
FutureLearn is a great website for finding courses you can do online. They even offer free courses – www.futurelearn.com/courses