Caring for someone is a big responsibility and can take up a lot of your time. You might even often feel lonely and cut off from the outside world, as it can be so difficult to make time for yourself or you might feel guilty if you're not prioritising the person you're caring for. If you’re starting to feel lonely, it can often help to talk to people close to you or those in a similar situation.
- Socialise: take time to visit other friends and family, if you can. If you can’t meet in person, a long chat on the phone is a good second best.
- Meet other carers: even if you have friends and family around you, they may not understand what it’s like to be a carer. If you want to chat to others in the same situation, contact Carers UK, which offers an advice line and online forums for carers.
A national membership charity that champions carers’ rights, connecting and supporting carers online and in local communities.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you may find it useful to talk to other dementia carers through the Alzheimer’s Society online forum.
A charity aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia.
We all feel down from time to time, but sometimes the loneliness and isolation of caring can turn into something more serious that needs to be addressed. If you find that talking with other people isn’t helping you cope with the situation, it can be a sign that you need additional support. Talk to your GP, or the charity Mind gives advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
Charity offering advice and support to anyone with a mental health problem, including how to cope with caring.
Information on mental health problems, medication and where to get help:
Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm, except public holidays
Coping with anxiety and depression
Being a carer can be worrying and stressful at times. Whether you’re responsible for someone 24/7, or struggling to juggle work and your own family life with caring responsibilities, caring for someone close to you is tough. On top of all that, it can be very upsetting to see a loved one going through a difficult time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, it’s important to take action. Telling someone how you feel is the first step to feeling better.
- Visit your GP: tell your GP that you’re a carer and discuss the impact this could be having on your health. Depending on your needs, your GP can advise you about medication or counselling that can help, or provide information on a local carers’ support group.
- Seek counselling: ask your GP to refer you to a counsellor or look one up yourself. Talking to a trained professional can help you put things in perspective, find better ways to cope with your situation and identify positive ways to improve your thinking.
- Get information and advice: the charity Depression Alliance offers useful help and advice. It also runs a network of supportive self-help groups for people living with depression.
- Carer’s assessment: if you haven’t had a carer’s assessment, consider getting one. This can be a route to counselling or other support. It can also help you to access respite care, to give you a break when things are particularly tough.
And even if you are not experiencing feelings of loneliness or depression, you may know an older person who is – perhaps someone that you are caring for. For tips on how to help an older person tackle loneliness, read our guide to how older people can get help for loneliness.
If you care for a loved one, it can be easy to forget about your own needs. Find tips on how to look after yourself.
We explain your options for extra support if you’re struggling to provide care for a partner, relative or friend.
The importance of planning ahead, how to access local authority respite care and choosing respite care.