In the same way that you are providing invaluable help and support to your partner or relative to manage their heart failure, you need just as much support in your role as caregiver.

You may feel very alone at times as you go about coping with everything, but there are many support systems available to you:

  • TALK to someone. Talking may be the most simple and effective support system that you need. If you don't feel you can talk to your partner or relative about certain things then talk to a family member, a trusted friend, to the doctor or nurse, or to a trained counsellor.

  • Seek help from family and friends, a volunteer group or help provided from your local health authority. You cannot and should not have to do everything on your own. Speak to your own doctor, or your partner or relative's doctor, to see what extra help may be available to you through services in your area.

  • Join a caregiver support group. Just as your partner or relative can use a patient support group, as a caregiver you can consider joining a caregiver support group to spend time with others in similar situations. You can find out about appropriate support groups by speaking to your doctor or nurse, asking at your local library or searching on the Internet.

Here are a few more suggestions that could help you feel more in control.

  • Learn more about heart failure. The more you know, the more in control you are likely to feel.

  • Make time for yourself and the activities you enjoy.

  • Plan for the future. If you are feeling uncertain about the future, you may get some peace of mind from working with your partner or relative to make sure that finances, wills and insurance policies are in order. This may lead you on to discuss future care plans with your partner or relative. Click here to find out more about planning for the end of life.