A carer is anyone who looks after someone who is unable to cope on their own without being paid to do so.
In the UK, there are approximately six million carers, excluding health professionals and care workers, and another 6,000 people become carers every day. However, many people may not see themselves as carers, but simply as someone who is helping to look after a friend, or relative, who is elderly, ill, or disabled.
Who can be a carer?
Anyone can be a carer, including those who are under 18 years of age. Carers who are under 18 years of age are known as young carers.
What does a carer do?
Carers carry out tasks for someone who is unable to manage on their own. This may involve personal care, such as bathing, cooking, and dressing, physical help with moving around, or carrying out errands, such as shopping, or picking up prescriptions.
Support for carers
Caring for someone can be both physically and emotionally demanding.The everyday tasks that need to be performed and the change in circumstances can put a strain on the relationship between the carer and the person they are caring for.
Several forms of assistance are available for carers, including financial support, help with employment, help in providing care, and carer’s support groups. All carers have the right to a carer’s assessment by social services in order to help determine the level of support that they need.