Menu

How to cope as a carer

Explains how to cope as a carer, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support.

Your stories

Caring for my husband with bipolar

Kate Devlin
Posted on 11/06/2015

What is a carer?

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. 


Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z

Training

Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> View courses

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today