Information for carers
As a service we refer to parents, step-parents, children, siblings, partners, other family members and friends as 'carers', even though you may not feel that you are a carer. We see carers as anyone who provides help and support to someone with an eating disorder.
You may see the person every day or less often. You may or may not live with them. What we know is that carers can provide invaluable help and support during recovery from an eating disorder.
Carers' Support Group
The Cambridge Adult Eating Disorder Service provides a support programme held virtually over Microsoft Teams every Tuesday, 4:30 - 5:45pm. Once a month, we hold an educational session given by a professional working in the eating disorder field, followed by an informal discussed between carer's about their own concerns and issues. These talks try to address the issues involved in caring for an individual with an eating disorder. This discussion is facilitated by a member of staff.
Previous topics have included: communication; compassion; problem solving; boundaries; meal support and body image, including how to model positive body image; motivation, eating disorders and the role of the carer; encouraging independence; mindfulness; medical questions and answers; stress strain and developing resilience as a carer
For the smooth running of the group, it is preferred if individuals arrive at the beginning of the meeting. However, due to carer's commitments, we understand that this might not always be possible. The group facilitators would welcome prior knowledge if an individual is going to be late to ensure that we are expecting you and can welcome you. A message can be left with reception on 01223 596201 before 5pm. We would recommend that members, wherever possible, stay until the end of the group.
We suggest the following ground rules to help the group feel like a safe and supportive environment for all that attend:
- We ask that group members speak one at a time so that everyone can be heard
- It is accepted by the group that having a loved one with an eating disorder is very stressful and challenging
- We ask that everyone respects each others views, even if they do not share them
- Confidentiality amongst group members is respected and this extends to the individuals they are caring for. Names may be used but not shared with those outside the group
We would recommend the following texts as useful reading in learning how to care for a loved one with an eating disorder:
Skills-Based Learning For Caring For A Loved One With An Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method by J. Treasure, G. Smith & A. Crane
Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide For Families, Friends & Sufferers by J. Treasure
Beating Your Eating Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioural Self-Help Guide for Adult Sufferers and their Carers by G. Waller & V. Mountford