When a family member or friend can't take care of themselves any more, you may choose to take on the responsibility of caring for them. Looking after someone in this way can be rewarding, but you may at times also need help and support with this responsibility. Being someone's carer can change your relationship with that person, and can be tiring, time-consuming, and stressful.
There are plenty of organisations who can offer you advice, emotional support, and help you take a break. You don't have to feel like you're coping all alone.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 adults (about 6.5 million people) are carers in the UK, and that their caring role saves the country approximately £119 billion per year. Although you might not choose to call yourself a carer, if you are the main provider of care for someone else, you are probably legally defined as a carer. This means that you may be able to access a range of help and support from your local council, and from independent organisations and charities.
This section will tell you about your rights as a carer, what financial help you might be entitled to, and where to go for advice and support.