What happens when you stop being a carer?

Your role as a carer could come to an end for a lot of different reasons. 

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You or the person you’re caring for might have a change in health, meaning that it’s no longer possible for you to take care of them alone. You might decide that caring is too much for you right now. Or the person you’re caring for might, sadly, pass away. 

Whatever your circumstances, this can be a time of difficult and mixed emotions. This page will offer some of the essential information you’ll need about practical steps to take when your caring role ends.

Above all, it’s important to take care of yourself and have support around you as you go through this big life change. Learn more about where to find support.

On this page:

When you or the person you care for have a change in needs

In some situations, you might find that the condition of the person you’re caring for is getting worse. They may need more help than they used to. 

Or, you might find that your own health (physical or mental) is declining. This could mean that you’re not able to give the same time and energy to caring as you used to. 

If this is the case, you can ask social services to assess the care needs of the person you support again. You can also ask for another carer’s assessment for yourself.

Social services carry out needs assessments and carers’ assessments to work out how much support you need. If they find that the person you’re caring for needs more care than you can give, then they might offer you more support at home. 

If the person you care for needs round-the-clock care, you may want to consider moving them into supported living or residential care. This is a big decision to make, and it may take some time before you’re ready to take this step.

When the person you care for moves into residential care

When someone you support starts receiving care somewhere else, it can be a very emotional time.

They might have moved into supported living, residential care or a hospice. Whatever their situation, it will be a big transition for you. It’s okay to feel mixed feelings about this.

There are a few practical things to consider.

When someone moves into residential care, their benefits may stop, usually after about four weeks. Find out more about which benefits will stop when you move into a care home from Turn2Us.

If the person you care for stops receiving benefits, you’ll also no longer be eligible for Carer’s Allowance

If you receive a Carer’s Premium or Carer’s Addition, you’ll stop getting this too. This usually happens after about eight weeks. 

Read more about cancelling Carer’s Allowance and other benefits. 

If you’re still spending a lot of time visiting the person you care for at their home, remember that you still have certain workplace rights as a carer.

When the person you care for passes away

Bereavement is a big upheaval in anyone’s life. It can be very isolating if you were caring for someone. You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. 

It is important to seek support from family and friends during this time, to make sure you’re being cared for. 

If you would like more support, the bereavement charity Cruse can put you in touch with counsellors and local grief groups. 

Remember that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and no set amount of time that you should be grieving. Everyone grieves in their own way. 

Cancelling Carer’s Allowance

When your role as a carer ends, you need to let the Carer’s Allowance Unit know.

For any situation except when the person you care for has died, you can report a change in circumstances by filling out a form on the gov.uk website

Cancelling Carer’s Allowance when someone dies

When someone dies, it can be overwhelming to have to think about admin such as cancelling benefits. 

Instead of using the form above, you should use the government’s Tell Us Once service.

This service lets most government agencies know at the same time that your loved one has passed away. 

This will take care of cancelling your Carer’s Allowance after the death of the person you care for. You can continue to receive your payments for up to eight weeks after their death.

Support for former carers

When you are no longer a carer, you may find that you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands. You may also be left with a lot of emotions, and want to talk about your experiences. 

Carers UK have an online forum where you can chat to other carers and former carers.

Carers Trust also have a handy tool for finding carer services in your area.

If you’re looking for ways to fill your time and feel fulfilled, you might want to consider volunteering.

You might also want to consider signing up to a class, taking up a new hobby or starting/returning to paid employment.

Remember, there’s no shame in taking care of your own needs. Take your time to rest and reconnect with the things and people that help you to enjoy life.

Support from Sense

We’re here for people with complex disabilities and their families all over the UK. Get in touch to find out more about the services we offer.

This content was last reviewed in October 2022. We’ll review it again in 2024.