Carers Week 2013

Carers' Week

What is a Carer?

Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. Carers give so much to society yet as a consequence of caring, they experience ill health, poverty and discrimination.

Caring in numbers

  • There are over 6.5 million carers in the UK.
  • Every day 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities.
  • Every year two million people take on new caring responsibilities.
  • Most carers (5.7 million) are aged over 18 and the peak age for caring is 50 to 59.
  • 1.5 million carers are aged over the age of 60.
  • There are 175,000 young people under the age of 18 who provide care, 13,000 of these provide care for 50 hours or more per week.
  • One in eight workers in the UK combine work with caring responsibilities for a disabled, ill or frail relative or friend.

Emotional and Practical Support

At the start caring can be bewildering, confusing and demanding. All carers need some support and back-up. Caring without support from others can present serious risks to your health and well-being.

Carers Week is the ideal time to find out what support is available to carers in your local area and help you prepare to care. Many carers turn to family and friends for support and to help get a break from caring. In lots of cases this works out well and caring is shared. There are also hundreds of carers groups and local organisations that support carers.

Most people need some sort of practical support to help with caring for a relative, partner or friend. This could be equipment to help you lift the person you care for, an alarm system for peace of mind, someone to look after the person you care for while you go out, or the opportunity to have a more substantial break where the person you care for goes into residential care or someone steps in to care for them for. By having a carer’s assessment you can work out with your local council what support you and the person you care for will need.