Single parents and carers

Single parents and solo carers (of children, or disabled or elderly relatives) share a unique set of challenges. Although you do not strictly live alone, you are solely responsible for the care and wellbeing of another (or others) as well as the upkeep of an entire household. 

Although carers and single parents do not physically live alone, being the sole person responsible for the care and well-being of another, certainly includes all of the challenges of solo living, plus more.

You may have been caring for a relative for many years or perhaps you are newly separated or bereaved and find yourself on your own with your children for the first time. Whatever your circumstances, you are likely to find that the range of choices open to you about how to live your life are more limited than they were before. 

You may feel lonely and socially isolated, simply by not having enough time or energy to engage with family or friends. It could be that you have had to give up work or change the way you work in order to fit in with your responsibilities, and faced a reduction in income as a result. You may also feel guilty about taking any time out for yourself. 

Help and Support

The following organisations specialise in information, advice and services for people who have experienced bereavement, and are a good starting point. You might also want to consider joining one of our own community groups to meet people who have had similar experiences. 

Gingerbread is the leading UK charity exclusively for single parents. They offer a lot of information covering all aspects of single parent life, including caring for children alone following divorce and bereavement. Technical info is UK specific, however much of the content will be relevant for all families.

Lots of content relating to different aspects of family life. Includes sections on tips on parenting alone, shared parenting, dating after divorce, and introducing new partners to your children. 

The CarersUK website has a large number of downloadable PDF factsheets covering a huge range of topics related to caring / caregiving, including care for those with specific health conditions. Pages with advice specific to the UK are clearly marked – everything else is relevant to all. 

If you live in the US, this page has links to organisations and information that may help, along with financial advice. 

Starting to live well, alone

Living alone is a very different way of life, and at first it can feel overwhelming, no matter your circumstances. You might find the following articles from our own blog useful as you start to find your feet. 

Depending on your circumstances, you might find it helpful to look at our pages on living alone after divorce or separation, or living alone following bereavement.

Finally, you may want to have a look at our resources section, and in particular our bookshop.

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