What is a carer?

Many people don’t  think of themselves as ‘carers’. They simply see themselves as a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter or friend looking after someone that they love.

But if you provide regular unpaid help and support to a partner, relative or friend who suffers from an illness or disability and can’t cope alone, then you are a carer.

A carer is different to someone who provides care professionally or via a voluntary organisation because you have an emotional connection with the person you care for. This connection can make caring more rewarding, yet more difficult at the same time.

If you’re a carer, you’re far from alone. There are almost seven million carers in the UK right now and this number is rising. A report from the charity the Royal Voluntary Service of 1,000 people with parents aged over 75 years published in December 2015, found that 28% of the study said juggling work with their caring responsibilities adds pressure to their lives. In addition, 30% believed that they needed external help and one in five people said they felt guilty about not being able to do more to help older relatives.

Recognising your role as a carer is important so that you can get the right help and support. All carers are entitled to a free Carer’s assessment of their needs, and are protected by certain rights in the workplace.  Follow the  Carers’ rights at work for more information