When Caring Ends

Caring can come to an end for a variety of reasons. The person you care for may gradually be able to support themselves without your help, they may begin to need more care than you can continue to provide, or sadly they may die.

As an individual, you also might choose to actively stop providing someone with care. This could be to hand the responsibilities onto another friend or family member, or to seek professional help if it gets too much. People may choose to step back from their role as carer for many reasons, for example, due to a decline in their own health, to move into further education, to start a new job, or simply to give more focus to some other factors in their life aside from caring.

Whatever the reason for your caring role to come to an end, it is a time of great change for all involved. Even if caring ceases due to a happy reason, it can still be quite a shock and might take some getting used to. Suddenly you have gained a lot of time, choice, and freedom where previously there may have been none. This can be incredibly overwhelming for many, and can take a time to adjust, so don’t be afraid to ask for support through this time.

Bereavement

Everybody experiences bereavement differently and it is important to give yourself time and space to grieve in the way that feels right to you. For some this might mean time alone, for others, less so. It may feel like you are alone in your grief, but the support is out there. As well as from friends or family, you can also talk to your GP, local support groups, or you might want to consider bereavement counselling too.

Carers UK explore some of the prospects and reality of life after caring, including a helpful video and guide for the friends, family and carers of someone who has died or is currently in the last stages of life.

Background

… each year over 2 million people … find that their caring experience comes to an end – perhaps because the person they are caring for has recovered from a serious illness, or become more independent; but often because the person they were looking after has died.

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK