If you can no longer provide care
There are many reasons why you may not be able to continue looking after someone. They might need more support, or you may have your own health concerns. It’s understandable if you feel you can no longer provide care for any reason.
If you’re no longer willing or able to look after someone, tell the council as soon as possible. Ask the council to carry out a care needs assessment, also called an Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland, or review the care and support plan for the person you're looking after. Remember to tell them if the situation is urgent. Our factsheet First steps in getting help with your care needs has more information.
If the person you’re caring for moves into a care home
Residential care might be the best option for the person you care for. But you could still have mixed feelings – relief that they'll be getting the level of care they need, but also guilt or sadness. Our guide How to find the right care home can help you choose one.
If you still want to be involved in caring for your relative or friend, speak to the care home staff about how you can work together. If you’re still providing care, you may be entitled to some benefits and carers’ rights at work.
Find out if the care home has a group for relatives and carers you can join. This may let you be involved in life at the care home, and give you the opportunity to talk about your feelings and the changes you're going through. If you live in England, get in touch with the Residents and Relatives Association for further information and support.
If the person you cared for has died
Grief is a complex and very personal experience. If the person you were caring for had been ill for some time, you may feel some relief. But you may also feel alone and isolated, especially if your caring role meant you lost touch with friends. It may help to talk to other people who knew the person you cared for, so you can support each other and talk about them.
As well as coping with your loss, you may have to deal with practicalities, such as organising a funeral and dealing with the estate of the person who died. Our factsheet What to do after a death has more information.
Specialist bereavement organisations such as Cruse and Cruse Scotland can offer advice, counselling and the details of local bereavement groups. You could also talk to your GP. Our guide Coping with bereavement can help you to look after yourself.
Changes to your benefits
If you’re claiming Carer's Allowance, or have an underlying entitlement to it, you must tell the Carer's Allowance Unit if your circumstances have changed in any way that’s likely to affect your benefits.
You can continue getting Carer’s Allowance for up to eight weeks after a death.
If you’re no longer caring for someone, your financial position may have changed. You’ll need to make sure you’re claiming the right benefits. Call our Helpline to arrange a benefits check or try our benefits calculator.
Life after caring
Caring may have been a big part of your life and it can take time to adjust. You may find yourself with lots of time on your hands but feel unsure what to do with it. Some people feel unwell for a while as exhaustion catches up with them and you may need a rest. You can still get support from carers’ organisations even if your caring role has come to an end.
When you’re ready, you might want to start connecting with other people again and readjusting to not being a carer. Our guide If you’re feeling lonely has suggestions for ways to meet people and things you could try, such as taking up a new hobby.
You may have built up expert knowledge during your time as a carer and want to continue using your skills and experience. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can:
- contact charities, such as Independent Age, about volunteering to support lonely or isolated people
- visit NCVO (in England), WCVA (in Wales) or SCVO (in Scotland) and Volunteering Matters to find out different ways you could get involved
- get in touch with your local carer’s centre to see how you could help.
You can find details of local carers’ organisations on the Carers UK or Carers Trust websites.