Are you a carer?

Are you a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member, friend, partner or neighbour who could not manage without their help. This includes people who receive Carer's Allowance.

The person you look after may have:

  • a disability or learning disability
  • a long term or life limiting illness
  • mental health difficulties
  • alcohol or drug related problems

You can be a:

  • young carer (under 18 years old)
  • young-adult carer (aged between 18 and 25)
  • adult carer (over 18 years old)

You may not see yourself as a carer, but if the description above applies to you, then you probably are one.


Many carers look after a family member who would struggle to cope without your support. For young carers and young adult carers this may lead to you taking on inappropriate or excessive caring roles such as:

  • emotional support
  • personal care
  • practical support
  • household activities
  • acting as an interpreter for a family member whose first language is not English or who has communication difficulties

You may find that your care responsibilities are affecting the way you live your life. It is important to remember that, even though you are caring for someone else, you need to take care of yourself too.  You may be able to get financial and practical support from voluntary organisations, health services and the council.

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