Caring for a partner, child, relative or friend can be hugely rewarding and make a huge difference to the quality of life of those we love. In the same breath it can be exhausting, frustrating and very, very lonely. Many carers say they feel unrecognised and unsupported, baffled by the challenges of getting help, ashamed of the anger and resentment they sometimes feel towards the person they're caring for. This survival guide aims to be a one-stop-shop for the huge percentage of the population who, sooner or later, will find themselves in a caring role, whether that involves shopping for a housebound neighbour, or giving up work to care full-time for a disabled child or confused parent. Section One focuses on what carers need to know to do the job: how to find a way through the care maze of health, local authority and voluntary agencies; guidance on day to day practicalities; financial and employment rights; dealing with emergencies; plus keeping care under review. Section Two - in a departure from other literature for carers - puts equal emphasis on helping carers care for themselves. It looks at the difficult feelings that go hand in hand with caring, how relationships are affected, and protecting carers' own health and happiness including crash courses on time management and assertiveness. There's also guidance on what to do when carers stop coping, plus preparing emotionally and practically for the time when caring comes to an end. Finally, the book has an extensive resource section intended to arm carers with all the phone numbers, addresses and websites they need to ensure they don't just survive but thrive in their caring roles.