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When caring comes to an end - new resource launched

22 October 2007

Carers UK and Help the Hospices have today launched a new publication for carers whose responsibilties are changing.

An essential new publication is being a launched (available from Oct 29th 2007) to help carers whose responsibilities are changing. When caring comes to an end, published jointly by the charities Carers UK and Help the Hospices and the Action for Carers and Employment (ACE) National partnership, is a short, easy to read, practical guide with sections covering key issues under three main headings: when the person you care for moves into a residential or nursing home; when the person you care for dies and life after caring.

The aim of the guide is to help the thousands of carers looking after family and friends with chronic illness or disabilities, unpaid, to identify key decisions that might have to be made, the actions they might have to take and the main sources of practical and emotional support.

Emily Holzhausen from Carers UK said, "Caring coming to an end can have an enormous impact on carer's lives, practically, emotionally and financially and yet carers are given very little information to help them plan for such a big change in their lives. Not planning properly for this time can have devastating consequences and that is why Help the Hospices and Carers UK have teamed up to produce this essential guide which will be helpful for carers and professionals alike.

As the guide explains, there is no 'right' way to feel when you find yourself free of your caring responsibilities following a change in circumstances such as the death of someone you have cared for, for months or even years. It is not unusual for carers to experience a period of illness themselves or to feel guilty about returning to a 'normal' life free of caring responsibilities.

Tanya Sealey of Help the Hospices explained, "Carers have sometimes devoted so much time to caring that they have let other aspects of their lives go, such as work, friendships and outside interests. It can be extremely hard to pick up the pieces and start again."

The guide includes plenty of factual information as well as signposting on a range of topics including Advance Care Planning, welfare rights and benefits, residential or care home support, hospice care and what to do when someone dies, including registering a death and arranging a funeral. There are also sources of bereavement support and ideas about life beyond caring such as volunteering and helpful information about going back to work. Carers, family members and professionals working through the issues with carers will all find this guide helpful.

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