Lanarkshire Carers – A huge lifeline and a ray of hope

Lanarkshire Carers – A huge lifeline and a ray of hope

It’s important for carers to look after their own health and wellbeing, as well as the person they care for. Lanarkshire Carers provide a range of services that can assist carers to address their individual support needs and help them identify and achieve personal outcomes. It can be a challenge to care for someone, particularly if you don’t take some time out now and again. Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after the person you care for. Taking time for self-care can also give you a break away from your caring role and help you care with confidence.

Sheila, a Parent Carer who cares for her daughter with additional support needs and was “feeling that there wasn’t really anything out there” for her as a carer in terms of information and support; was signposted to Lanarkshire Carers. “The Carer Support Worker I spoke to, was the first person who asked about me. Asked how I was doing and that they had time for me. I was made to feel that they were invested in supporting me and that I wasn’t going to be a drain on someone’s service. They had a real sense of empathy”. Sheila was aware of her own physical and mental health and wellbeing and how the pandemic had impacted her.

“I was in a very dark and depleted place with my mental health, where I was being continually told by people to look after myself. When you have a demanding caring role, you don’t need to be told that. But the Carer Support Worker I spoke to understood that. It was the first platform where I could speak and not feel as if I was being judged. It was a huge lifeline, and it gave me a sense that there was something else out there; that could give us a ray of hope.”

After the initial call with Lanarkshire Carers, Sheila was provided with information and advice on accessing financial support that both she and her daughter may be entitled to and was encouraged to apply for it. As part of Adult Carer Support Plan conversations, a short break opportunity in the form of a Gym membership was identified as way for her to take some time out from her caring role and to look after her overall physical and mental health and wellbeing. “Initially I was unsure about the short break as a break away from home just wouldn’t have worked for us a family. I had to really think about what I could do that wasn’t a holiday but through the conversations, I came to decide that a gym membership would help me top up my tank”. Sheila had previously had an 8-week Active Health referral at her local leisure centre from her GP and found that it had been beneficial to her.

“I was able to access a two-year gym membership with the funding I received. It has meant that I have this place that I can go to, where I’m not a mum or a carer. It’s a window of time to be me and I can park all of the challenges I’m facing at home. I have really thrived from it”. Sheila is a physiotherapist and knows the importance of looking after her health and wellbeing and following on from accessing short break funding from Lanarkshire Carers, she has recently qualified as a yoga instructor and as part of our Carer Training Programme; is now offering weekly yoga classes to carers.

“It has given me faith in my myself and has built my self-esteem up from that first conversation. I wanted to give back to Lanarkshire Carers as this is my identity, this is who I am.” Sheila has also recently restarted teaching pilates classes in the community which has given her “a link back into my local community, where I never had it before” and is now hoping that in the future that she can work towards becoming a qualified trauma informed yoga instructor.

Lanarkshire Carers Centre: Hamilton

Ground Floor Left
Princes Gate
60 Castle Street

Monday - Friday:
9:00am to 4:30pm

Lanarkshire Carers Centre: Airdrie

Airdrie Locality Support Services
92 Hallcraig Street

Monday - Friday:
9:00am to 4:30pm