In a nutshell:
How you can help someone who is a carer:
- Are they a carer and what support is available
- How to do your bit
Seeing someone care can be difficult, we don’t always know how to support them or let them know we’d like to help. We’ve pulled together some information so you can help a carer.
First things first, if you’re unsure, is to see if they are a carer. Hit the Am I a carer box to the right to view the full detail and take a look at the tips below to help you decide.
Top tips from Care for the Carers to identify a carer:
- Think carer, not care worker. The term carer should not be confused with a care worker, or care assistant; who receives employed or self-employed payment for looking after someone
- Carers provide care because of the relationship they have with the cared for person. Most do it willingly, but some feel they have no choice
- The physical and emotional wellbeing of a carer can be compromised by their caring role
- A carer provides support to a relative or friend who is ill, frail, disabled, and/or has a long term illness. Anyone can become a carer
- Carers can be of any age, from any cultural or social background
- Many carers do not consider themselves to be a carer. They may be just looking after one or both parents, their child, or best friend, simply getting on with it and doing what anyone else would in the same situation
If you have identified a carer they will be entitled to support. They may find our carers guide a great go-to booklet or find surfing this site a good place to start.
We understand that having conversations of this nature can sometimes be challenging, especially if the carer does not consider themselves to be in a carers role.
The best way to approach someone about them being a carer will really depend on the person and your relationship with them, we’ve outlined a few ways below that you may find useful to think about:
- Try to take a non-threatening approach. Start by saying, “Many people in your situation. . .” or “Some people caring for a loved one find support by. . .”
- Try: “I’d love to talk to you about….. initially you might think it seems silly. Please don’t be offended . . .” Another approach is to tell anecdotes about people in similar circumstances as a way to ease the individual into the discussion
- Leave a guide nearby for them to pick up and read or suggest just taking a look around this website
Want to do more?
Volunteering, fundraising or donating to any of the charities out there providing support for carers is pretty simple. The most recognisable national charities for carers are Carers UK and Carers Trust but there are lots of smaller localised charities out there too. The choice is yours!
See a potential problem?
If you become aware or suspect that a person (whether a child or an adult) may be being abused or neglected don’t ignore it.
Speak to a trained professional to discuss your concerns by contacting your local authority and asking to speak to a social worker. Alternatively, if your concern relates to a child, you can phone the NSPCC 24 hour helpline on 0808 800 5000. If you think a person is in immediate danger, don’t delay – phone 999. Remember, abuse and neglect can have devastating life-long effects on people’s lives.
If you are a Carer and you have been harmed or abused by the person you are caring for, please contact your Local Authority Social Services as they will be able to provide you with advice and support.