Caring for someone during the Christmas season

Caring Together

Caring for someone during the Christmas season

The Christmas season can be a time when many of us are able to have a break and enjoy ourselves. But if you are looking after someone, it means that you may have quite a different experience – you may have more family and friends around to offer some support, but you and the person you care for may also face a range of challenges.

For example, you may be affected by:

  • some of your normal routine of activities and support not being held
  • not being able get a break from your caring role due to changes to services available
  • challenges in spending time with friends and family due to the needs of the person you care for or your caring responsibilities
  • feeling added pressures through the Christmas and New Year period. These could include financial pressures, or due to feeling people are not understanding your needs, or the needs of the person you care

There are steps you can take to help with this, and to know where the right support is available if you need it.

Plan ahead – and have an emergency plan

Thinking ahead and planning can make life easier for you and the person you look after – and for other people you spend time with over this period. Especially if the person you care for needs routine or finds it beneficial to be clear on what is happening.

Talk to family and friends about your plans, and raise any worries or concerns you have with them. Manage the expectations of family and friends, be realistic about what is doable or desirable for you and the person you care for, and chat through how certain parts of your plans may work. Say what you and the person you care for are likely to find helpful and useful, and what may be challenging.

Having an emergency plan in place for what would happen if something happened meaning you could not carry out your caring responsibilities is important at all times of year. If you do not have one in place this is something you can do. These services are free.

Asking for help and support

Talk to your family and friends. See what opportunities there are for you to have a break, or share caring responsibilities at times.

People may not be aware of what is involved in your caring role and its demands until you explain the situation to them. Particularly if they have not seen you or the person you care for recently, or there have been changes in your situation.

You may be able to use your carer personal budget to pay for a break (including homecare) or to be able to take a carer’s break. It is best to plan this in advance. Please contact us to find out more about what can be available to you.

Stay connected with support and other carers

We have a range of activities available to you and these can help you to be in contact with other carers.

You can see more about our groups for carers – meeting both online and face-to-face at

You can also contact us to find out more about other opportunities available to you and see our directory at which has details of a range of organisations and services that can help you.

Check Christmas opening times

Some services may not be available during the normal hours during the Christmas period.

Depending on services you regularly use, it is worth checking the opening times of your GP, local pharmacy and other support you may need.


Page last reviewed: 26 January 2023

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