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For many people, looking after someone living with vision loss doesn’t have a name, it is ‘just something you do’. However, not recognising you are carrying out a caring role might mean you are missing out on help, advice and information.

We know that caregivers play a crucial role in supporting and assisting someone living with vision loss, and they can make a huge difference for those who are adjusting to life and hoping to maintain their independence.

Whilst being a caregiver is rewarding, it can also be demanding at times. Looking after someone with vision loss requires a lot of physical and emotional energy, and the addition of new responsibilities to your life can affect not only you, but your family and friends as well. As you care for someone else, it is important to also look after yourself.

Below are some examples of how you can care for yourself while supporting someone with AMD:

  1. Join a support group. Local or online support groups for caregivers can connect you with others who are in a similar situation. They can offer useful tips for coping, along with comfort and understanding. In the UK, non-profit organisations such as the Macular Society specialise in supporting people with AMD and their caregivers – don’t hesitate to get in touch. 
  2. Set realistic expectations. Open and ongoing conversation with your friend or loved one about what they expect from you, and what you are able to offer, can help avoid misunderstandings. If these expectations do not align, try to find ways to compromise and reach out to patient organisations or healthcare professionals for help and advice.
  3. Make time for yourself. This might mean asking a friend or family member to take over from you for a period of time, or asking a patient group, like the Macular Society, to suggest a list of local organisations that offer services for people with AMD. Having additional support for when you need time for yourself can keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and ensure that the person you are caring for will be in good hands.
  4. Focus on the positives. Being a caregiver can be demanding, so remember to be kind to yourself. You are helping someone navigate a tricky landscape, so celebrate successes and don’t let occasional setbacks get you down.
  5. Stay healthy. Don’t ignore your own health. See your own doctors as needed, eat well and exercise regularly. If you are feeling overwhelmed, speaking with a patient organisation or a mental health professional may help you manage anxiety and stress.

For more information on ways you can help your family member or friend manage AMD, click here.

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Page-Specific Approval Code UK | February 2021 | 108213