Every day 6,000 people become carers, looking after family or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill. Many people see their caring role as part of their family relationship and do not see themselves as a 'carer' until they reach crisis point, missing out on the information and advice that is available.

For many people, caring is a rewarding and positive experience, but for others, caring without the right help and support can feel overwhelming. Caring can trigger feelings of loneliness and frustration and many people often find their physical and emotional health, work or finances are affected, particularly the longer they are in a caring role.

Carers do an amazing job and have the right to be supported. You do not have to wait until you are struggling or there is a crisis before you ask for support. The earlier you get help, the more difference it can make.  

The Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 strengthen the rights and recognition of carers in the social care system, and will both came into effect in April 2015 when carers may be able to get more help so that they can carry on caring and look after their own wellbeing. Carers may be eligible for support, such as a direct payment to spend on the things that make caring easier or practical support.

The Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s needs for support, where the carer appears to have such needs, regardless of their income and finances or their level of need. This replaces the existing law, which says that the carer must be providing “a substantial amount of care on a regular basis” in order to qualify for an assessment. This will mean more carers are able to have an assessment, comparable to the right of the people they care for. 

To find out more information visit our Information Hub where you can find information about Carers Assessments, Respite, Welfare Benefits, Legal Information and much more

 Carers UK's 'Looking after someone' is a guide for anyone caring for family or friends. 

looking after someone 2019The guide outlines your rights as a carer and gives an overview of the practical and financial support available. The guide includes:

  • A Carer’s Guide: an illustrated introduction to the challenges of caring, from making difficult decisions to looking after your health and wellbeing.
  • Benefits: an overview of which benefits you or the person you care for may be entitled to and information about how to get a benefits check.
  • Other financial help: including help with council tax, fuel costs, pensions and health costs.
  • Practical help: including community care assessment, carer's assessment and direct payments.
  • Technology: information about health and care technology that could make life easier for you and the person you care for.
  • Your workplace: your rights at work, from flexible working and parental leave to protection from discrimination.
  • Other help: how to find other help nationally and in your local community.

You can download a copy here

Carers can get a free printed copy of the Carers UK Looking after someone guide by contacting the Carers UK Adviceline