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Who is a carer?

A carer is someone who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day-to-day life. This is not the same as who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation (Care Act 2014).


The person supported may not be able to cope without the support of the carer due to illness, disability, mental health or substance misuse problems. The carer does not get paid for providing this support.


When people need support with their day to day living , most of the time they will turn to their family and friens. Mutual caring is when two people look after each other.

Carers can be:

  • Adults caring for other adults
  • Parents caring for children who are ill or have a disability
  • Young carers under 17 years caring for, or involved in the care of, a parent, sibling, relative or friend.

A carer can be an adult or young person. When a parent of a disabled child provides more support to the child than would normally be expected(due to the child's disability), they are referred to as parent carers.

Caring for someone can mean helping with personal things such as:

  • getting dressed
  • washing
  • helping to go toilet
  • getting about
  • administering medication
  • filling in forms
  • cleaning
  • shopping
  • cooking
  • laundry
  • managing/budgeting money

Some people may also provide care in the form of emotional support.

Support for Carers Leaflet PDF

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