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A Carer (often referred to as unpaid, informal or family carer) is someone who helps out someone else (usually a friend or relative) in their day-to-day life.


A Carer (often referred to as unpaid, informal or family carer) is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.


The Care Act 2014 identifies a Carer as 'an adult who provides or intends to provide care for another adult'. Additionally, the Children and Families Act 2014 recognises 'persons under 18 who provide or intend to provide care for another person of any age (except where that care is provided for payment, pursuant to a contract or as voluntary work)'.

Elderly Patient In Wheelchair And Caregiver
  • Adult Carers
    Adult Carers care for other adults over the age of 18. This includes adults caring for their adult children.
  • Young Carers
    Young Carers are children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 who provide regular and on-going care and/or emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or has an addiction.
  • Parent Carers
    Parent Carers are those caring for a disabled child or young person under the age of 18. Parents will often see themselves primarily as parents, however their child will have additional care needs and may be entitled to additional services.
  • Working Carers
    Working Carers are people in full or part-time employment, who also provide care for another person. Supporting Carers to remain in work can bring considerable benefits to Carers themselves, employers and the wider economy.
  • Sandwich Carers
    Sandwich Carers have more than one caring responsibility; for example, Carers could be caring for two family members, such as an elderly relative and a dependent child or a spouse (Carers UK 2012).
What tasks might a Carer carry out?

Carers may do one or two tasks from this list a couple of hours a week or they may be supporting with all of these daily tasks on a 24 hour 7 days a week basis.

This list is by no means exhaustive; likewise not all Carers need to be partaking in all these tasks to be considered an informal/unpaid Carer.

Not all Carers live with the person they support.

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