Are you a carer?
A carer is someone who provides help and support to a partner, child, family member, neighbour or friend without payment. Being a carer means it is important that you look after yourself and your wellbeing. It also means you have certain entitlements in law as laid down in The Care Act
Many people don’t recognise that they are actually a carer. They see that they are simply looking after their partner, child or relative. However, if you provide unpaid care and support to someone who couldn’t manage without this, then you are defined as a carer. This care and support may be due to someone’s age and frailty, illnesss, a disability, a mental health condition, or an addiction. You can be caring alone, or helping as a part of a caring network of family members, or friends.
If you are a carer, you have some important legal rights including the right to certain types of financial support, information and advice, practical help and rights in the workplace. Carers UK is a useful resource (link) and provides lots of up to the minute information on your rights and how to get the support you are entitled to.
What does a carer do?
Every carer is different – we are all people with different roles and responsibiites, caring for people with all sorts of needs. A carer can carry out any of the following roles and tasks:
Personal Care – Support with dressing, washing, showering or bathing and toileting
Domestic Care – Support with cooking, housework, and shopping
Physical Care – Support with lifting, assisting, and helping when moving around
Financial Care – Support with any financial matters
Health Care – Support with managing illness or a condition, or helping to administer medication
Emotional Care – Support by being a listening ear, emotional support, or simply providing company
Communication Care – Supporting or assisting with a listening or communication impairment, including translation
A Parent Carer is someone who provides care and support to a child under 18, with additional needs, for whom the person has parental responsibility.
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under, who helps look after a friend or relative, who has a condition that means they cannot support themselves without that help. Young Carers often take on the practical and emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.