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Life After Caring

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Life After Caring: How do you get back on track once your caring role is over?

Posted: 30.3.23

Holding someones hand on the table over cake and cup of tea
Holding someones hand on the table over cake and cup of tea

As much as we plan for the future and acknowledge the natural cycle of life, it still doesn’t fully prepare us for losing the person we love and care for. As a carer this can be even harder as it can often raise feelings of guilt, heightened feelings of isolation and loneliness and a question of what do I do now? The team at Trafford Carers Centre will support you to access the right support, advice, and guidance whether that be to support you with returning to work, accessing benefits, navigating probate, or inviting you to our bereavement support group. Our support is available to you for up to two years after your caring role ends.

Carer Joyce

Joyce’s husband David had pulmonary fibrosis before he passed away over 18 months ago. She cared for him during the end of his life and has found counselling and the Bereavement Support Group a way of coping with his loss. She got in touch with Trafford Carers as, initially, she wanted help filling in a form and she found herself attending counselling which she has found so useful she continued seeing the therapist after her free sessions finished.

“The bereavement group came along via the carers group,” explains Joyce. “It was difficult at first, but I am so glad I went, because it has been so supportive. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. “It’s mainly being able to talk freely knowing you are in a safe place and not burdening other people unnecessarily. The WhatsApp group is great. It’s lovely to meet people you feel totally safe with and if you are having a bad day you can go on the group, and someone is there for you to talk to. It’s about what you can give and what you can take from it and it’s good to think you can help other people as well because we all want to do that.”

Carole Diggle

Carole cared for her husband John until he passed away in August 2019 after suffering from multiple conditions including a heart attack, stroke, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s.

“I do Wellbeing Wednesday sessions, so I still have contact with the Carers Centre and can access help if I need it. I keep very busy because when I stop, I constantly think about John. The last week before he died, doctors stopped telling me anything, and I am waiting to hear about trauma counselling to work through what happened.

“Trafford Carers Centre is a wonderful place and they look after you. The bereavement sessions are good, but nowhere else does anything for when you are on your own. One minute you are a carer; the next, you’re not doing anything, but Trafford Carers Centre is aware there’s a space that needs filling.”

Carer R

“My husband passed away in July 2021. He had sepsis and prostate cancer. The last six months were very difficult, and afterwards, you berate yourself feeling you should have done this, or that.

“I was asked if I needed counselling and at the time, I felt I shouldn’t need it because I have a supportive family. But I’m so glad I did. I started the group counselling in Altrincham, and to be honest, it has been my saviour.

“My son died 27 years ago, and I had one-to-one counselling, but I found this so much better because, it sounds silly, but it wasn’t so serious. We can grieve and cry, but we can also laugh - it’s good to be with people who understand.”

One of the positive outcomes of the Bereavement Support sessions has been a WhatsApp group. “From that, we now have coffee mornings and have started going to the theatre,” she says. “We also started saying every first Tuesday, we’ll have a coffee morning, and every third Tuesday, we’ll have a card afternoon. My granddaughter said, ‘Isn’t it lovely. You’ve made so many good friends so quickly.’ But it’s all down to the carers really."

Bereavement Support

Our programme of bereavement support drop-in sessions is being led by Paula Jones, who is a qualified counsellor from The Counselling & Family Centre in Altrincham. The sessions run on the last Thursday of the month, 2-3.30pm at Fiona Gardens, Atkinson Rd, Sale.

  • 30 MARCH 2023 Creating a new bond with the person who has died
  • 27 APRIL 2023 New roles/identity after bereavement – who am I now?
  • 25 MAY 2023 Attachment theory and its relationship to grief 29
  • JUNE 2023 Family and friend responses to my loss; coping if limited family / support network
  • 27 JULY 2023 Self-care; relaxation techniques (and a relaxation exercise)
  • 31 AUGUST 2023 Growing around grief The concept of the ‘shattered vase’ (mended, still beautiful, but different now)
  • 28 SEPTEMBER 2023 ‘Making sense’ of my loss
  • 26 OCTOBER 2023 Creative outlets for coping with grief (and a creative exercise)
  • 30 NOVEMBER 2023 Coping with Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries; creating new rituals

Closing The Circle

Sara and Jez Fixter run a small, local independent funeral service Full Circle Funeral Partners on Ashley Road in Altrincham, where they have created a warm and welcoming space, inspired by nature, to suit the service they offer which focuses strongly on wellbeing.

Sara says: “Our own experience has shown us that the kind of support people receive after loss can have a long-term impact on the grieving process and this is why we take so much care in our approach. Everyone’s experience of bereavement is different and whilst some people value being given specific signposting, others prefer to be provided with as much information as possible about the options available so that they can make the choices that feel right for them.”

As well as providing support to people who are making funeral wishes or arranging a funeral, Sara and Jez run a support group for anyone who is bereaved, not just those who have used their service. They also have a bank of resources available on their website to help people through the grieving process, including information on staying connected after someone has died and using nature, nutrition, art and music to support wellbeing.

One such resource is a leaflet outlining some of the support that is available in Trafford and on-line. The Full Circle Funerals bereavement support group is held on the first Wednesday of every month from 5.30 to 7.30pm and is a safe space to talk, share, listen and support. To find out more email sara.fixter@

Tagged with: #bereavement

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