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Post carer and getting back to work. - Carers UK Forum

Post carer and getting back to work.

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
It's a month ago I lost my father who was fighting terminal prostrate cancer. He was himself up to last 7 days. When his breathing and movement's become laboured. Luckily he was at home in peace.

It's been 3.5 years and prior to this I was a self employed gardener. As my father became I'll I had to let business go. I now feel I need to look at work but feel lost :-??? :unsure: with so many paths to follow with so many junctions to take and doors to open. Since dad has been ill I have been working towards grade c in English and maths.

I feel I need security of employment rather than self employment. I am even considering the possiblity training as a nurse but now I'm not sure if I could face it at the moment. They all seem to be employed by agencies on a pitance wage which scares me. I feel my mind could not cope with all the deep learning at this moment.

I suppose it's possible to talk through the options with the job centre so may be that's my first point of call.
Have you thought about working with people with learning difficulties. My son is 38, lives in his own flat with carer support, to take him shopping, cook food, etc. You sound like the perfect carer to me. Male carers are so scarce.
Hi Austin
There is nothing wrong with having fingers in several pies. This is the plan I have to go forward when the time comes. The thought of returning 9-5 to a full time employer sounds like torture :lol:
Why not keep all your options open , perhaps a few regular contracts -flats or care homes for gardening and few favoured customers who you enjoyed working for. Then you can try something else out part time- maybe care as BB suggests and at the same time finish your qualifications so you can maybe try something else later.
I would suggest not getting bogged down in one job of long hours leaving you no time to finish your courses and think about life in general and where you want to be. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and now is the perfect time to make some pleasant life style choices. Don't be bullied by the job centre.
A month is no time at all post-bereavement. You will still be 'knocked sideways' by it all in so many ways - a mix of grief for your dad, relief that his ordeal is over, a strange sense of dislocation and being 'abandoned' by the person who needed you, a sense of confusion about a future that never seemed to be arriving and now suddenly is there, a 'freedom' to do whatever you want, unconstrained by your caring of your dad, yet in is own way that 'freedom' is daunting and 'too open', etc etc etc.

So, go gently on yourself. The 'paperwork of death' is timeconsuming an unavoidable, but hopefuly it can be done 'in bits and pieces' but it can trail on for quite some time (years later I still get correspondence occasionally to 'The Executors of....')

I would caution against making 'big decisions, right now'. If you want to retrain, eg, in nursing, then that is great, but it's a significant step and commitment, especially long term - and financial (I believe nursing bursaries have been halted now to 'save money'....just at the time when the UK is DESPERATLEY short of nurses, but hey, so long as we can go on raiding the nurses of the third world, who cares? I mean, it's not as if the third world needs its nurses, is it? THEY don't get sick, all those poor folk in Africa!!!!)(sorry, bit angry there!)

Also, training courses tend to run the academic year, so although you may need to apply now, it won't start till Setpember/October will it?

I can see why you want the security of wage packet for now - though that can be very hard to find in the damn gig economy of zero hour contracts (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one!). But with summer coming on there should be more seasonsal work around? Ironically, probably a lot more gardening work too!

I would say it's a good opportunity to 'cast your net wide' but keep it fairly loose, until you find something you really want to commit to. It could take a year to do that. Try and think in two time frames - the 'immediate one' of bringing in money, and then a longer term one for 'what am I going to be doing this time next year'.

The future will gradually 'take shape' but better to let it do so gradually, I would say personally, than jumping in suddenly and dramatically, just to 'force' it into some form of shape, which might not suit you after all.

Whatever you do, this is a 'strange time' of your life - it will take time to come to terms with it and 'move on' from the period of your life that was dedicated to looking after your dad.

Kind wishes, at a disconcerting time, Jenny
PS - sorry to state the obvious, but I would start with a complete Financial Audit, that pulls together your entire current financial situation, taking into account expenses re your dad (eg, probate fees?), what 'might be left' out of whatever he left (house/goods/money) etc etc. Looking at all the expenses of your life (rates, bills etc). And then any income that you DID have (eg Carer's Allowance) and what you no longer have, and what you now can have (eg, wages) etc etc.

Make some kind of budget for the rest of the year - including as a separate exercise what would happen if you took out a student loan for any retraining (eg, the nursing idea).

(I think by the way, that BB's idea of being a 'support worker' of some kind is good, because if you DO want to try nursing, that kind of 'pre-nursing' work would surely be useful and relevant??)

GREAT that you are doing some exams in two subjects which are generally deemed to be essential on c.v.s and job applications, so well done. It also helps to 'distract' you right now, which may be good. Are you taking the exams in the summer when the schools all take them, or at a different time? (No sure how it works for 'non-school' candidates!)

Which also raises the point, if you DID want to do nursing, what other exam subjects should you maybe also consider, and when? eg, biology strikes me as the obvious one! :)
I cared for my husband full on 24/7 as he had M.S and was full time wheelchair user and couldn't use his hands either, so I did everything for him..feeding, shaving, toilet.hoisting .absolutely everything.
He died last july, I'm 57 and trying so hard to get a job, but no one wants to know as I've had this 8yr gap.
Even packing and sandwich,making...wether its my age or the 8yr gap I dont know. Jobcentre no help..when yr on bereavement allowance. .112.00 a week yr not entitles to help or free courses or anything. .I had meeting with National career advisor who said I was doing everything possible. I need money..badly, my financial state is dire and im worried sick about that as well as grieving. In july the bereavement allowance will end and I'll have to go on job seekers which is even less..hope I can get a job by then. Im not sleeping, crying all the time. .as someone has mentioned, dont really think I'd be up to hard studying anyway. Doctor has prescribed anti ds, but I cant afford the cost if prescriptions ditto the dentist, because on bereavement allowance you get no help with this stuff or council tax etc either.
The help and support for ex carers trying to get back into work out there is zero. It seems many jobs have gone part time too..but they dont want me either.
This is a major problem that the government should be looking at, I have a friend in exactly the same situation and she had really high powered career before, but still unable to get work.
This is a serious situation, I'm afraid I'm going to lose my house and everything.
Melanie, I'm so sorry first of all to hear that you lost your poor husband - I too, am a widow, cancer in my husband's case. (I was VERY fortunate as his pension has kicked in for me, my widow's portion, and I'm so grateful).

I'm also sorry in that I don't really know what to suggest to you now, as you seem to have done everything you needed to do in terms of adjusting to being 'financially solo' again.

You mention at the end about losing your home - that would be the very worst situation, obviously. If you are paying a mortgage, the advice we hear on the radio and so forth is always to let the mortgage company know, and try and get a 'break in payment'. What they seem to hate most is not being told.....

It does seem awful that there are no jobs, even part time, around your area. Is there any chance that will pick up during the summer season for more casual work at least? I'm sorry to make this suggestion, but, have you considered cleaning work, or care work? I live in the Home Counties, so lots of 'ladies who lunch' (!) don't care to clean their own homes, and pay a tenner an hour or more to someone who will. Also, in the westcountry, where my family roots are, apart from tourist season work, the only thing that seems to be in regular demand are care-workers (lot or elderly retired in the west country.) Obviously it's badly paid, but maybe better than JSA??????

I do hope you've informed your council that you are now single in your home, so that should take 25% off your council tax immediately.

I hope others here can be of more practical use to you.

It's bad enough being widowed, let alone having to struggle to stay alive oneself.......

Wishing you all the best possible, and hope things improve before too long....
As mentioned as far back as 2004 , with recommendations since , for carers whose caring duties have ceased , there is no Carers " Probation " Officer available inside one's LA.

In comparison , consider what support and advice is available for a recently released prisoner.

Perhaps a campaign for former carers to have the same " Rights / Support " as a released prisoner ?

For some former carers , their " Porridge " ended , and yet they committed no crime other than to " Choose " to care in the first place.

Harsh comparison but , some former carers would tend to agree.

One more to be added to the rapidly growing list for consideration by our supporting organisations ?


Melanie, Have you considered renting out a room in your house?If you have to go on Universal Credit which is now taking over from JSA, I think you are allowed to earn about 7.5 K from a renter before its affects your benefits. Also you should be able to apply for support for mortgage interest when your on UC as well. If I were you I'd go to the CAB and ask them what your entitled to and when.
Also if you dont want a full time lodger you could do Air BnB and have people for a few days here and there.