Who Cares? Are You Caring?

Many carers don’t see themselves as carers and find it difficult to see their caring role as separate from the relationship they have with the person for whom they care, whether that relationship is as a parent, child, sibling, partner, or a friend.

“A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.” NHS England.

Many carers juggle their caring responsibilities with work, study and other family commitments. Some, particularly younger carers, may not tell their relatives, friends, teachers or health and care professionals about their responsibilities because of a fear of separation, guilt, pride or other reasons. This means that the sort of roles and responsibilities that carers provide varies widely, ranging from help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed and personal care, to emotional support such as helping someone cope with the challenges of mental health.

Young Carers

Young carers are under 18 and help to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem. This help can involve doing extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning or helping someone get dressed and move around or even giving emotional support.

Some people start giving care at a very young age and don't really realise they're carers. Other young people become carers overnight. If someone in your family needs to be looked after, you may really want to help them. But as a young carer, you shouldn't be doing the same things as adult carers.

Many carers find it easier to continue in their caring role if they can get some support. Local councils can provide care and support for people who require care and their carers. The way they make a decision about the support that they can provide is by carrying out assessments. As a young carer it is important to find out what support is available.

Visit Carers UK or NHS website 

Find out more about how young Samuel from Wales cares for his Mum Sara who is a myaware member

Support services for carers