No matter how hard it is to imagine (or accept), it’s likely that your caring role will one day come to an end.
This could be for one of several reasons:
If you have been caring for a long time, it can be difficult to know what to do – or how to feel – when your caring responsibilities come to an end, especially if you are also grieving.
Never underestimate the emotional impact a caring role can have on your life. And when the caring ends – for whatever reason – it can leave you feeling as if your whole life has been derailed. Some carers feel a sense of relief when the caring ends, while others may feel guilt and that they could have done more.
If you have left a job or career, or have neglected other relationships, it can be difficult to get your own life back on track– especially if you are feeling tired, empty or depressed. You may be feeling lost and not sure what to do next.
Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way to feel. Talk to someone you trust, perhaps someone you have met at a carers centre or support group. Wait a while before making any big decisions.
If that doesn’t help, it may be worth seeking professional support.
It’s likely that the end of your caring responsibilities will be one of many changes in your life, some unanticipated or unwanted.
Your finances may change, especially if you were receiving Carer’s Allowance or other carer-related benefits.
Remember that a Lasting Power of Attorney stops when someone dies so you can no longer conduct business on the deceased person’s behalf.
If you moved in with the cared-for person, you may suddenly find yourself faced with having to find a new home. Or you might prefer to move somewhere more suitable to your own needs.
If you left work to focus on caring responsibilities you might wish to consider returning to work or retraining or perhaps doing some volunteering
Your changing support needs
Sometimes two people with different care and support needs manage to live independently at home because they are looking after one another. In effect, each person has become the other one’s carer.
If you were in this situation, the care you were getting from the other person might have been taken into account when your own care plan was agreed.
Contact your local council and ask to have your own needs reassessed.