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Caring explained

Carers are the partners, friends and family members helping their loved ones get the most out of life.

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who provides support and care to their loved ones without payment.

The person they help usually can’t manage without their support, this could be due to old age, illness, disability, mental health problems or an addiction.

Some people don’t like to identify with the term ‘carer’ and that’s OK. Whether you use it or not, we are here to ensure you are supported when looking after someone else.

Common caring myths

Millions of people look after their loved ones in the UK, yet unpaid care seems rarely understood. We’ve highlighted some of the most common misconceptions.

Reality: Many can misunderstand the term carer and often confuse it with a paid care worker. A carer is anyone who looks after a someone without payment. A paid carer or care worker is employed to provide care to an individual or family.

Reality: You can be a carer at any age. In fact, there are lots of young carers. There are an estimated 800,000 young carers aged 5-17 that care for an adult or family member in the UK. 

Reality: Carer's Allowance is the main welfare benefit to help carers, which is currently paid at £67.60 a week. However, not all carers can access this. Carer’s Allowance is not a wage, it is a contribution to help with the cost of caring for someone with a disability. 

Are you worried about someone?

Looking after someone can come with a number of challenges that can impact a person’s health and wellbeing. If you have recognised someone with caring responsibilities and are worried about them, talk to our friendly team. We can offer you guidance on how best to support them. Contact our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 or (Mon - Fri, 9am - 1pm). 

You are not alone

Everyone’s caring situation is different. For some it can happen gradually with responsibilities building up overtime. For others it can happen suddenly and life can change overnight. Wherever you are in your journey, you are not alone.

Need to talk? Call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 1pm)