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Are you an unpaid Carer?

A Carer is anyone, including children and adults, who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid. There are around 9 million unpaid Carers in the UK

Are you a Carer?

Do you provide unpaid care to a friend, neighbour, or family member who couldn’t manage alone?

Is this person in need of your help due to frailty, age, physical illness, mental health condition, or addiction?

If you answered yes to either, or both, of the questions above, it is extremely likely that you are classed as a carer, whether you were aware of it or not.

While being a carer doesn’t define you, it may mean that you have some important legal rights including the right to certain types of financial support, practical help, assistance technology and rights in the workplace. Carers UK provide a useful guide book that explains your rights and how to get the support you are entitled to.

To find out more about the different types of caring roles, and what they entail, please keep reading below, you may be surprised.

Who do carers care for?

Chart below show number of carers in the UK and who they care for (percentage)

What does a Carer do?

Each caring role is unique, and may encompass a range of tasks and responsibilities. The role of a Carer might include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Personal Care – Support with dressing, washing, 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 affairs
  • Health Care – Support with managing illness or a condition, or helping to administer medication
  • Emotional Care – Support by being a listening ear, offering moral support, or simply providing company for someone who is feeling isolated
  • Communication Care – Supporting or assisting with a listening or communication impairment, including translation, for example, when English is not the family’s first language

What is the difference between being a Carer for someone, and just caring about someone?

Many people do not consider themselves a ‘carer’. In their eyes, they may be simply fulfilling their role as caring wife or husband, son or daughter, mother or father, partner, grandparent, child, friend or neighbour.

However, more often than not, these people would be classed as Carers, and could be offered additional support and recognition for their caring role. To be defined as a Carer you do not need to be alone in supporting someone either – there can be several people who provide care as part of a family or support network team.

At times, a Carer might not even be recognised by the one who they are providing care to. This is often due to illness, and can be difficult to come to terms with.

Am I a Parent Carer?

A Parent Carer is someone who provides, or intends to provide, care for a child with additional needs (under the age of 18), for whom the person has parental responsibility.

As a Parent Carer you may not see yourself as a Carer and think that you are just looking after your child and professionals around you may also not see you as a Carer too. It is important to recognise yourself as a Parent Carer as you will be able to move forward in accessing the right support, services and information that you require.

What support can I get?
As a parent or Carer of a child with a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND), it can be difficult to know what support is available and who to contact. Whether it is keeping up-to-date with Carer related news and information, some light touch support or more intense support, there is something to help everyone.

How can I ask for my child’s needs to be assessed?
As a Parent Carer you have the right to have your child and your family’s needs assessed by social services. The process that social services use to decide if additional help is required to meet your family’s needs is called a needs assessment. A Parent Carer themselves or a professional helping the family can request a needs assessment.

Am I a Young Carer?

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.

A Young Adult Carer is someone who is aged between 18 and 25. There is a wide range of local and national support available to you, Carers Trust is a great place to start.