What is a Carer?
A carer is someone who offers provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without help. This could be due to illness, mental ill-health, disability, or a substance misuse problem.
- A carer can be any age.
- You can become a carer without being aware of it. Carers are family members, friends or neighbours who, sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually, find themselves offering support and simply get on with what needs to be done.
- You could be faced with caring responsibilities as a result of the birth of a child with a disability, a partner suffering with the sudden onset of a medical condition, or a parent whose illness or disease is slowly getting worse.
- A carer does not always live with the person being cared for, but their help may be essential for someone to go on living in their own home.
- Carers may be juggling paid work with their unpaid caring responsibilities.
- The term "carer" should not be confused with a care worker, or care assistant as this refers to somebody who is paid by an employer to look after someone.
You can read some of our Carers Stories here.