Help for carers
A carer is someone who looks after a friend or family member who is ill, elderly or disabled, or needs help with day-to-day living. Many people who look after someone don't think of themselves as 'carers' - they see themselves as a daughter, father, mother or friend.
Help from the council
If you're new to caring, your first point of contact should be your council's social work department - you can find contact details in the phone book or on your council's website. The social work department can carry out an assessment to see what can be done to make life easier for the person you look after. You can also ask for your needs to be assessed, to see what help you need as a carer.
Other help and support
You can also get help from your local GP's surgery and carers' centre, and from voluntary organisations that support people with the same illness or disability as the person you care for. Visit the help directory of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers website for a comprehensive list. Whatever your situation, help is available for anyone carrying out this difficult and important job.
Caring for a disabled child
If you look after a disabled child, your local social work department should carry out an assessment of your child's needs and identify any services or special equipment they need. Find out more about the help and support available for parents of disabled children here.
What if I need a break?
If you're caring for someone, it may be hard for you to find time for yourself. However, it's important for your health and well-being to spend time away from the person you care for, doing something for yourself that you enjoy. Our page on respite care outlines the help available, whether you need a few hours to do your own thing or a longer break to go on holiday.