Former carers

Former carers

The death of the person you've cared for is a huge loss. We can help support you. This page has some guidance on coping with the loss of your loved one, and some suggestions of activities and other opportunities that might be of interest, when you feel the time is right.

When your loved one has died

If you’re reading this because the person you cared for has died, our condolences on your loss. This will be a very difficult and sad time for you – and the rest of your family.

On this page we have some guidance on coping with the loss of your loved one, and some suggestions of  support and other opportunities that might be of interest, when you feel the time is right.

Unfortunately, because of our fixed resources, these opportunities are only for carers already registered with us, Action for Carers Surrey.

We’re here

Most importantly, don’t forget we’re here. Our Carer Information Centre Advisors can continue to speak to you about anything that’s concerning you. They can provide information, advice, and support, or just simply listen. Call 0303 040 1234,

If you need advice with forms or any other issues, particularly surrounding the loss of your loved one, we can put you in touch with one of our Carer Support Advisors in your area.

If you’ve been registered with us we’d be very happy for you to stay as ‘part’ of Action for Carers, and receive our quarterly newsletter, bi-monthly email and other communications, if you’d like to. These include events, activities and consultations of interest to former carers.

Website for carers in Surrey on End of Life

Surrey County Council have a very comprehensive and useful website all about end of life matters for carers living in Surrey. Called ‘Caring to the End’, the website brings together information you may need to know as a carer currently caring for someone with a terminal illness, from their diagnosis through to the end of their life.

It offers offers practical, legal and financial information for those who are caring for a loved one, offers advice on coping with grief and where to go for support after caring for a loved one at end of life. There are sections offering tailored advice and guidance, including for parent carers and young carers.

SCC and the NHS worked with carers and former carers to get their input into the site.

Caring to the End

Support groups

Former Carer Support Group

We have a support group for former carers, to offer friendly support and help with emotional, practical and social needs. The group provides a time and place where you can meet with other people who are experiencing the pain of bereavement and will understand something of what you are feeling.

The group is currently run via Zoom. It takes place on the second Tuesday of each month.

It is also a chance to meet others in a similar situation, and perhaps become friends.

Taking part

You will need to sign up to take part. Visit our events page, or leave a voicemail on 0303 040 1234 option 1 or email CSadmin @actionforcarers. org.uk

Many other organisations have on-line support groups.

Carers UK and Sue Ryder have communities offering support to former carers, and many condition-specific charities have communities where former carers can chat, e.g. Macmillan, Parkinson’s UK and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Workshops and events

You are welcome to join any of our events and workshops, currently taking place via Zoom. 

They include wellbeing and creativity, for example, Mindfulness, Yoga, Pilates and crafts.

You are also welcome to attend sessions which focus on issues which are still part of your role as a former carer. Please let us know if  you have suggestions for issues would like us to address.

Workshops that may be of particular interest:

Bereavement Workshop

To explore how it affects people physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. To share ways to cope with bereavement.

Building Emotional Resilience Workshop

This workshop offers a basic understanding of how we can build resilience, and the things that prevent us from doing so. Understanding the difference between pressure and stress, and learning to turn ‘surviving into thriving’.

Anxiety and Loss Workshop

This workshop helps carers gain a basic understanding of anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety, factors around anxiety and loss and strategies

Celebrating Life: Remembering our Loved Ones

This will be a time for carers who have lost the person they have cared for, to remember, meet others, share experiences and take part in an activity which will celebrate the life of their loved one.

Life after Caring

This workshop will look at managing change, opportunities to work or volunteer, benefits and finances, confidence building and other issues carers wish to address.

Thinking about work

You may now been in a position where you want to retrain or re-enter the workforce, if your caring role limited your working life. While you were caring you will have developed skills that may be very useful.

Charity Carers UK have a programme that may help, called ‘Learning for Living’.  It is a tool for carers to help validate their skills gained through caring. The free 2-hour online course covers 5 different modules covering techniques for learning and communication and developing assertiveness and confidence. A carer will receive a Digital Badge  on completion which employers recognise as part of professional development.

Volunteering

See also our volunteering page.

Bereaved carers want to help,  we can volunteer to give back.

There are lots of ways to volunteer.

  • help at support groups
  • help with basic administration tasks
  • support a stall to promote Action for Carers
  • take part in fundraising
  • Help with the newsletter—carer to carer pages.

We are continuously developing ways to support carers  which volunteers would be welcome to work on with us.

If you feel you have a skill  which you are willing to share then please contact Rachel Brennan, Manager of the Adult Carer Support Service.

Carers to be able to help other carers.

Using your experiences

Your experiences as a carer — both good and bad — are hugely important.  Your views and experiences can help to make changes for the better for all carers, both in Surrey and nationally. As a former carer, you are likely to have a great deal to contribute.

There are many ways to do this.

Our ‘Giving Carers a Voice’ programme

We run a wide range of consultations for carers and former carers, on topics such as social care. We also have a ‘Carers’ Parliament’ made of carers and former carers to address key issues.

External consultations

We encourage carers to have their voice heard by taking part in external consultations, both in Surrey and nationally.

Sharing your story

Would you consider sharing your story with others? We often share carers’ stories in our communications, as they resonate with other carers, as well as helping others understand carers’ lives better.

The media also ask us for carers who will share their experiences and comments in print, radio and TV. If that’s also of interest, please let us know.

Fundraising

We hope you feel you have benefitted from the support offered by Action for Carers, and the other carers you may have met on your caring journey.

Action for Carers aims to support all Surrey’s carers, aged 5-95. As you know we offer a wide range of support and activities. Although we receive much of our income from Surrey County Council, we also fundraise to be able to do more. When the time is right, you may be interested in fundraising, and if so, we’d be delighted to have your support. Find out more.

Opportunities for former carers

Here are some links to opportunities for former carers

microphone

Use your experience

Use your experience as a carer to make a difference to the lives of other carers. Find out more on our consultations page.

yoga

Attend a workshop

We have a range of events and workshops, many of which are relevant for former carers.