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4. How To Identify If Someone Is A Carer?

How to identify if someone, perhaps unknowingly, is a Carer?

Do you feel like you could recognise the signs that someone might be a Carer?

What sort of little things would you look out for?

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Adult Carers

Adult Carers might show the following signs:

  • Isolation – not going out much when previously active

  • Not looking after their health, failing to make or keep GP/hospital appointments

  • Losing touch with friends and family

  • Conversation may be totally focused on the person they are caring for

  • Their home and garden isn’t maintained as well as it used to be

  • Being late for work, frequent absences from work or giving up work completely

  • Having to leave early for appointments/emergencies, saying no to invitations

  • Being defensive, angry or impatient

  • Not eating properly – losing weight or gaining weight

  • Not engaging in previous hobbies or interests

  • Giving up education, social groups or volunteering

  • Looking tired, or falling asleep when at work

  • Lack of concentration, being tearful or emotional

  • Struggling to look after children or grandchildren

 

 

Many of these signs can also be displayed in someone with a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression and it is always good practice to encourage anyone displaying these signs to visit their GP.

Young Carers

Young Carers might be identified from the following signs:

 

  • Arriving late or missing school

  • Lack of time to complete homework tasks

  • Lack of concentration, or tiredness

  • Low self-esteem

  • Poor physical or emotional wellbeing

  • Secretive about home life

  • Outbursts or amplified responses to events due to the emotional strain

  • Poor presentation

  • A need or desire to be in regular contact with the person they care for

 

Many of these signs can also be displayed in someone with a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression and it is always good practice to encourage anyone displaying these signs to visit their GP.

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Hidden Carers

Some Carers choose to remain hidden; others may not identify themselves as Carers and therefore do not seek support and information that would benefit them.  Some may not need or choose to seek support, whilst others do not know what support and information is available to them in relation to their caring role. It can be difficult to identify individual hidden carers in some specific groups for example carers;

  • from ethnic minority backgrounds

  • who look after someone with a drug or alcohol problem

  • who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

  • who have mental health problems

 

 

What should you do if you believe that someone is performing a caring role?

  • Ask if they are aware that they are a Carer

  • Ask whether they know there is support available to help them

  • Ask have they had or would like a Carers Needs Assessment?

  • Explain how a Carer's Needs Assessment would support them

  • Give information, including leaflets or contact numbers, for Carer Support Organisations

  • Ask if they would like you to contact the local Carer Support Organisation on their behalf, and explain that they will then ring the Carer back

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