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Who is a carer

You're an unpaid carer if you help a family member, friend or neighbour who needs it. 

They may need care if they: 

  • are disabled
  • have a mental health condition
  • are ill, including terminally ill
  • have an addiction 
  • are older

You can be an unpaid carer even if:

  • you do not live with them
  • you're not related to them
  • you're caring short term or only some of the time
  • they do not get support from the council

What caring means

Care means giving help and support in the way a person needs it, such as:

  • cooking, cleaning or shopping
  • helping them get around
  • emotional support
  • washing, dressing or helping them go to the toilet
  • translating, managing their money or helping to apply for benefits
  • managing medication or arranging appointments

You may do all these things or only some of them.

You can be providing care as often as they need it, for example once a week or up to 24 hours a day. 

Young carers 

You're a young carer if you provide care and you're either:

  • under 18
  • 18 and still at school

There's extra support for young carers

Who is not an unpaid carer

You're not an unpaid carer if you're providing care as a professional care worker or through a volunteering scheme or charity.

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