A carer is anyone who provides regular and ongoing support to another person. This may be someone in their family, i.e. a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling or other relative, who needs looking after because they have a physical disability, a mental health condition, a learning disability, a drug or alcohol related illness, a sensory impairment or any long-term illness or condition.

Some of the roles undertaken by adult carers include:

  • Helping the person they care for get dressed or washed
  • Helping with housework, cooking or shopping
  • Helping a family member with their medication
  • Providing emotional support

Being a carer is not easy and often taking on these extra responsibilities can affect friendships and relationships, learning and development and health and wellbeing.

Caring for someone can be daunting, especially if you are new to it. We have spoken to many carers over the years and these are the things they wish they had known early on.

Scroll down to find some really useful advice and resources.


Emergency Planning

When you care for someone, life cannot simply be put on hold when the person you are looking after relies on you for vital help and support.

We advise all carers to create an emergency plan – for you and all those you look after. Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future.

Leaving Hospital

If the person you are caring for is coming out of hospital there are some important considerations to make, especially if this will mean you will be taking on caring responsibilities for the first time.

Telling your GP

By telling your GP that you have taken on a caring role, your GP will be able to advise you on relevant support for you and the person you care for and give you priority for certain things such as vaccinations.

Carers Assessment

If you support someone, be that a family member, a friend or neighbour then you are entitled to request a free carers assessment from your local authority.


Taking breaks from your caring role is vital to maintaining your own health and sense of wellbeing. Her we will share our respite options and other resources that you may find useful.