Carers United: 1st Edition (April 2020)

We are very pleased to publish this first Carers United article, which is written and created by Caro, a carer and long term member of Edinburgh Carers Council. Many thanks to Caro for taking the time and effort to write this piece, in hopes it will inspire others during these difficult times.

If you would also like to submit a piece sharing your experiences, opinions and/or coping strategies, please email We would love to hear from you. 


Carers United 1

Edinburgh, Lothians and Everywhere

A huge ‘Hello’ to you all – some known, others not; however, all united as Carers of Loved Ones with serious mental health illnesses.

During these unprecedented and extraordinary times, we, as never before, are facing a further challenge, in addition to the challenges we face every day in caring for our loved ones.

Carers United is to support you / us in this current crisis, share feelings, experiences, hopes and fears that may help those who read this. It will be honest in sharing the additional ups-and-downs that may affect our Caring role (a 24/7 job where no one-size fits all).

Given that some of you may agree and others disagree with some observations – that is good and how it should be – I only share my current views – as one of the first groups to have to self-isolate due to age and health issues.   

Caring and Self Isolation Challenges & Observations

  • A huge shock being very outdoor active;
  • Losing both control and decision making - for example - having to rely on another for food shopping;
  • Filling the days - in trying not to increase worrying about loved ones;
  • Keeping healthy (physically and mentally), in order to care for loved ones whose mental health illnesses may worsen;
  • Not seeing loved ones, including family (children, grandchildren) friends etc.

Fears of

  • The unknown;
  • Isolation;
  • Finances; and
  • Developing additional illnesses.

There are many more.

Things that helped me

(after house cleaning and clearing, garden tiding etc -)

  • ‘Safe’ one-hour walk every day keeping safe distances;
  • ‘Telephone Dates’ I arrange agreed fixed days and times (in a diary) to chat with friends and family in a rotation;
  • Learned to Skype last week and that is a great comfort especially seeing family who live many miles away;
  • One son put my newspaper on line so I still can read it;
  • Arranging other things to be delivered e.g. the Radio Times etc.

Keeping Spirits Up

  • I plan a day in advance what I hope to do the next day and always include one ‘special’ thing even if a phone chat – e.g. later today I will put up some Easter Decorations;
  • Choosing a special T.V programme;
  • Not watching the cover-to-cover Virus programmes / news;

Perhaps Carers may like to add to this with their own views and comments – please remember we all have different experiences as do our loved ones - and different views / opinions are good, interesting and healthy.

Although I am currently not on Facebook I intend to join in the next few days.


I leave you with a conversational point from J.K Rowling (Times 7 April 2020) -

‘JK Rowling has condemned so-called life coaches for putting pressure on people to learn new skills and be productive during lockdown.

The Harry Potter author said that just getting through isolation was an achievement for people with mental health issues. Rowling, 54, who has spoken in the past about depression, said that advice from self-styled business gurus on social media was a form of shaming that could make people feel worse during a difficult time’  (Times April 2020).


Wishing all Carers United readers well and keep healthy.

Carer Caro