Carers, family and friends

Being a carer has its ups and downs...

Many carers enjoy supporting someone who is important to them - and although this section focuses on the difficult aspects of caring, there is no doubt that it can be a rewarding and satisfying experience in many ways. Often, coming to terms with kidney failure together brings people closer to each other than ever before.

However, being a carer is not always easy. As well as the practical work of being a carer, there are emotional consequences that can be very difficult to deal with.

Many carers worry about the future. Some feel frustrated because the person they are caring for can no longer do as much as they used to. Nearly everyone feels angry and resentful at some point. And then they may feel guilty or selfish about having these kinds of emotions, as if it might mean they don't love the person they are caring for.

This isn't true. Given the situation, these feelings are entirely natural. However, you do need to talk to someone about them.

It may be difficult for you to discuss your feelings with the person you are caring for - you may feel that you will "be a burden" (carers do get into the habit of putting other people's needs first). To begin with, talk to a trusted friend, a minister, one of the health professionals you have got to know and trust, or a counsellor.

A trained counsellor will listen carefully to what you say and will be able to help you find ways of coping with your feelings. You'll find more about this in What is counselling?

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