A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who couldn’t cope without their support.

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A carer is anyone who, without being paid, cares for or looks after another person. This could be a friend or family member who has an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction which means they would struggle to cope without extra support.

Our NHS and social care services could not cope without the 6.5 million adults in the UK providing unpaid care to friends and family members. Carers hold families together and make a huge contribution to society, saving the economy billions of pounds every year.

However, caring for someone can often be a very challenging responsibility. Many carers are stretched to their limits, trying to juggle their caring responsibilities with work and family life. Some carers have their own health problems and may find it difficult to make ends meet, having to reduce the number of hours they work to care for their loved one.

Every day 6,000 people become carers and one in eight adults cares for a family member, neighbour or friend. Sometimes it's sudden, like the result of a crisis or an accident. Other times it's gradual and creeps up on us. Either way, carers are often unaware of the range of help and support available to them.

Carers assessments
Adults who provide care and support to an adult friend or family member are entitled to a carers assessment from their local council.

Carers assessments look at the impact caring has on the carer and what support can be offered to them. This could range from being offered money to pay for things that make caring easier or practical support, such as arranging for someone to step in for you when you need a short break.

You can find more information about carers assessments by reading this factsheet from Carers UK or by visiting NHS Choices.
Carers support
Every borough across our Trust footprint has its own carers centre, providing a wide range of emotional and practical support, along with information and advice to carers in their area. Carers centres can be seen as a one-stop shop for carers, run by carers offering carers both individual and group support.

The below carers centres cover our Trust footprint:
The two main UK-based charities for carers are Carers UK and Carers Trust. Both charities' websites have lots of useful information, advice and support for carers.

You can also get help and advice from Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053. You can also contact them by email or using the online chat portal.

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