Who is a carer?

Many people who care for family members often don't see themselves as carers. This is because they primarily see themselves as a partner, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, etc.

For example, a parent carer of a disabled child would be defined as a carer. This is because they look after their child and are not paid to do so.

You can also be a carer if you are under 18, children or young people who care for a family member would be defined as a young carer. You can find more information about this on our 'young carers' page.

Caring for someone can take up a few hours each week, or a carer may be caring for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some carers live with, or near to, the person they are caring for, whereas others provide more remote support. Some look after more than one person.

If any of these statements apply, you could be an unpaid carer

You provide help to someone on a regular and ongoing basis such as:

  • help with showering
  • support with going to the toilet, dressing or other personal care
  • help that involves cleaning, cooking, shopping, transport
  • help with medication or other health care needs (such as taking someone to GP or hospital appointments).
  • help with bills
  • providing company and emotional support

The cared for person has difficulty managing without regular and ongoing support.

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