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Who is a carer?

A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.

The term carer should not be confused with a care worker, or care assistant, who receives payment for looking after someone.

Read carers' stories.

A young carer is a child or young person under the age of 18 carrying out significant caring tasks and assuming a level of responsibility for another person, which would normally be taken by an adult.

Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age.

Many carers do not consider themselves to be a carer, they are just looking after their mother, son, or best friend, just getting on with it and doing what anyone else would in the same situation.

Carers don’t choose to become carers: it just happens and they have to get on with it – if they did not do it, who would and what would happen to the person they care for?

Why do carers need support?

If you'd like to know more about any of the issues concerned, then contact a member of the press office

How does support carers?

This website provides carers with a wealth of relevant information in our help directory as well as information and contact details for all our local carers centres around the UK. We also have the largest community of online carers on the internet, where carers can exchange news, views, feelings and advice via our discussion boards and chat room.