You are a carer if you are responsible for providing or arranging care for someone else who cannot care for themselves. A carer is not paid for their role, and is different from a paid professional like a care worker or home help.
You may already describe or think of yourself as a carer. However, you may not be sure if you are a carer or you may not like to use the term. This booklet is relevant to you if you are supporting:
- a family member such as your child, parent, sibling or other relative
- your partner
- a friend
- a neighbour.
You may provide a range of support, including:
- giving emotional support
- helping someone cope with a mental health problem
- cooking and cleaning
- personal care, like washing and going to the toilet
- budgeting and looking after finances
- giving medicine or providing medical care
- interpreting for someone who is deaf or who does not have English as their first language
- reading information and filling in forms for someone who has literacy or concentration difficulties.
Anyone can become a carer, no matter their age, gender or background. You may care for someone who has a long-term health condition or someone who needs support after an accident or sudden illness. The care you provide could be short- or long-term. You may or may not live with the person you are a carer for.
I was completely unaware that what I was doing was a carer role and of the effect it was having on me. I didn’t think about reaching out for support for myself.
What's it like to be a carer?
In this video, Chloe, Kate and Ally talk about their experiences of caring their mum, husband and son, all of whom have a mental health problem.