Factors that might help or hinder me

What do you feel are the factors in your life at present that might help you to achieve your goals? What might make it difficult?

Lesley, whom you met in Sessions 2 and 3, experienced a number of difficulties. These included:

  • no appropriate childcare for her son during the school holidays
  • her back and joint problems made returning to nursing impossible
  • her financial situation had worsened.

While she was not able to fix these problems, she was able to find a way through them to make some decisions about her future and improve her situation in a way that felt right for her at the stage of life she was at.

Lesley is now studying part time and managing to combine this with her caring role. She has gained confidence and is about to take up a post on the board of directors with her local carers centre.

It can be helpful to look at how you have made decisions and choices in the past, or how you have coped in difficult situations. This is especially important if you have made a few ‘false starts’ or things have not gone as well for you as you had hoped. How do you make decisions and choices? For example, do you research on the internet, speak to a friend or colleague, or contact local colleges or training organisations? Do you have the support of staff in your local carers centre? Can you speak to other carers who may have had similar experiences to you?

Your timeline might have highlighted some points where, on reflection, you may have chosen differently if you had been better informed or better supported.

Table 6.1 sets out a range of positive factors and possible difficulties that carers might face. Are any of these factors affecting you?

Table 6.1 Factors that might help or hinder me
Positive factorsPossible difficulties
More time availableLack of time
Good healthPoor mental health, poor physical health
Communication skillsUnpredictability of caring role
FlexibleNo childcare
ResilienceLack of confidence
AdaptabilityLack of transport
Knowing what I want to doI don’t know what I want to do
MaturityNo space to study
Ability to manage and juggle different activitiesFinancial worries
Supportive employerInflexible employer
Open to try new thingsDon’t know where to go for help
Good support networkLack of support networks – family live far away