Carers come from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds and age groups.
What stood out for you when completing this topic?
Caring for someone can alter the course of your life in many ways. Unexpectedly becoming a carer can mean changes to your relationships, everyday activities, your work, your spare time, how you think about yourself and, sometimes, how others think about you.
How has your life changed since taking on a caring role?
At some stage in our lives most of us will be, or will need, a carer. No matter who you care for, taking on a caring role is a significant event that brings many challenges and rewards.
How has caring impacted on your health and wellbeing, both positive and negative experiences?
Experience tells us that gaining and maintaining a decent state of health and wellbeing is a series of constant decisions, actions and habits.
What has stopped you from making good decisions about your health? What good habits have you managed to add to your daily life?
Looking after a family member can leave you little time to think about yourself. Yet caring for your own health and wellbeing is as important for you as it is for the person you care for.
What do you do to take better care of you?
At times, carers needs to take a break to help them cope and relieve the stress and exhaustion they feel. Taking a break carers to restore some balance in their lives, to become involved in activities, catch up with friends and family, or just have some time out.
What do you do to take a break? Was it difficult to take a break for first time?
The caring role impacts relationships in different ways. Many carers feel isolated, missing the social opportunities associated with work, recreation and leisure activities.
How has taking on the caring role impacted on your social connections? What do you do to strengthen your social connections?
Meaningful work, paid or unpaid, contributes to our positive sense of wellbeing in many ways. It keeps us busy and engaged with the world, can provide challenges and is also the means to develop existing skills and learn new ones.
What are some of the challenges you have faced combining your work and caring roles?
Setting goals is a positive way to focus on what is important to you and to create a vision of how you want your life to be. What is important to you may have changed since taking on a caring role. Things you have taken for granted before might not be so certain anymore.
What are some of the key messages you have taken away from this topic?
Stress and setbacks are a part of life. A series of small challenges, or a traumatic situation can be hard to deal with. Becoming more resilient in the face of adversity will not get rid of negative emotions, however it is likely to get you into a better place more quickly.
How do you seek to build resilience in your caring role?