Supporting someone with a mental illness - Staying independent
How can I help the person I care for stay independent?
When you care for someone they can become very dependent on you. Over time the person you care for can rely on you for things they could do themselves. Think about giving them more chances to make decisions and do things for themselves. Over time they may become more comfortable making decisions, which may take some of the pressure off you.
You can try the following:
- Set up some boundaries. You do this by deciding how much you can do and how much you want to do. Talk to the person you care for and tell them what you have decided. Remember, once you set up these boundaries it is important to stick to them.
- Talk about the skills the person you care for needs to focus on and agree goals. You can agree to show them how to do something and help them with it for a while until they are confident to do it alone. An example of this might be doing their own laundry or going to the shops.
- The person you care for may have support from a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) or other mental health services. You could talk to their ‘care coordinator’ about their care plan. You can ask if they are doing anything to help them develop independent living skills. If the person is living on their own you could ask about getting help from an occupational therapist or floating support.
- You can encourage the person you support to use a personal budget to pay for services that could improve their day to day life. A personal budget is when social services assess their social care needs. They are then given money which they can choose to spend on services they need. Types of services could include computer classes or a gym membership. Choosing their own service can improve how they feel about themselves. Some services can also improve confidence and help to establish a routine.
You can find out more about 'Social Care - Care and support Planning'.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays