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If you’re struggling to provide care for a loved one on your own there is help and support available. We explain your options.

On this page we give you information about:

1. When to ask for help
2. Home care services
3. Help with caring: things to consider

When to ask for help

Caring for someone can take a lot of time and energy. It’s not always possible to do everything yourself. If you live a long way away, have a job or a young family to look after, you might not be able to give your relative or friend the care that they need. If they need specialist care or their condition is getting worse, you might need to think about alternative care options.

If caring is affecting your own health and wellbeing, it’s time to seek help. By taking a look at your relative or friend’s needs and your limitations, you might realise that it would be better for some caring jobs to be carried out by a professional.

Home care services

In that case, you can hire a home care service to help your relative with tasks like getting out of bed and dressed in the morning, cooking during the day and picking up medicines from the pharmacy. 

Find home care locally

Search our Care services directory to find domiciliary care providers in your local area.

Some carers see it as their responsibility to provide care for a loved one and feel guilty if they don’t. But there’s no need to feel that way. Quite the opposite, if you take a step back from the caring role, you can still give your relative help and emotional support, which is just as important.

Help with caring: things to consider

  • Are there any other friends or family living nearby who could help with care?
  • Could your relative benefit from Domiciliary care at home?
  • Has your relative had a care needs assessment from the local council? If not, contact their local authority to get one done. They might be eligible for free help and support.
  • Have you and your relative considered other housing options? Look into Sheltered housing and Care homes if you think that could be something for you, or read more about how it works if Your relative moves in with you.
  • Would you benefit from Respite care?

If you're looking for extra support emotionally and practically, the latest Carers UK magazine includes an article about sharing the load and a Q&A on juggling lots of roles when caring duties are getting worse.

More information

Page first published: December 2015
Next review due: July 2017