If you are a unpaid carer, looking after a partner, family member, neighbour or friend,you may find that looking after someone can put a strain on your relationships with people who are important to you, whether that's a partner, family, friends or somebody else.
It can be really hard to recognise how caring is causing problems with your relationships as you may feel that you are betraying the person you care for if you say anything. This might be particularly hard if you are caring for your partner.
Carers Trust has launched an online carers relationship guide to help all carers identify and manage their relationships. The national charity worked with OnePlusOne, a relationship research charity, and obtained funding for the guide from the Department for Work and Pensions. The focus of the guide is on early intervention and prevention rather than crisis management.
What's in the online relationship guide?
The guide has two sections:
Each part includes a number of self-help articles, focusing on subjects such as the challenges of being lover and carer; caring for a parent; and how the stress of caring can impact relationships.
The guide also contains real-life examples to help unpaid carers cope.
Caring for a partner
If you are looking after your partner you can face unique pressures. The guide includes support about:
The challenges of caring for your lover
The art of healthy arguing
Dealing with resentment and frustration
Coping with hidden issues
Managing the stresses of caring.
Caring for a family member, friend or neighbour
If you care for a family member, friend or neighbour, you are likely face a different set of challenges. The guide includes support about:
Role reversal if you care for a parent
Caring for a sibling and how things might change between you
Spotting vicious cycles and how to break them
Comments from Carers Trust's Chief Executive
Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: "Many unpaid carers find that looking after someone else causes problems with partners, family and friends.
“They may keep worries to themselves and feel they are betraying the person they care for if they admit their caring role is affecting their relationships.
"This is particularly hard if they are caring for their partner. Our partnership with OnePlusOne will help us support those unpaid carers who are finding it difficult.”
Director at OnePlusOne's Comments
Penny Mansfield, Director at OnePlusOne, says: "Whether you are caring for your partner, your parent or your child, meeting their everyday physical and emotional needs will affect your own physical and mental wellbeing – and the quality of the relationship between the two of you.
"By working alongside organisations like Carers Trust, who know the communities they serve so well – together we can empower carers to manage the impact of caring on their relationships with others."
Browse the Carers Trust online carers relationship guide
Source: Carers Trust press release: New relationship guide launched for unpaid carers
Turn2us resources for carers
If you are a carer struggling to make ends meet, use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.
The Turn2us Your Situation online section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help. This includes sections for Carers, People who are Ill, Injured or Disabled and a Help with housing costs section.