Becoming a Carer can be a gradual process with many people not recognising the changing nature of their relationship with the person they support. Carers will prefer to continue identifying primarily as a husband, wife, partner, sibling, parent, child, or friend, rather than as a Carer and that’s okay. 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.
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.
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
Each caring role is unique and may encompass a range of tasks and responsibilities.
Carers often become engulfed by competing demands, including work and family, and as a result may overlook their own needs. Raising awareness of Carers may enable more people to seek support and help at an early stage and therefore delay when caring situations breakdown due to crisis.
To hear what cares have to say, watch this short clip or read these top tips for new carers.