Am I a carer?
In Staffordshire, thousands of people provide unpaid care or support to a family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else. Caring for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with their washing, dressing, or eating, or taking them to appointments, supporting them emotionally, or ensuring that they are safe.
A carer could be of any age, could be caring for someone of any age or any condition.
If you look after someone who could not manage without your help, for example, a husband or wife, partner, parent, a relative, a friend or neighbour then yes, you are a carer.
Commonly asked questions
Can I go to work and still be classed as a carer?
Yes! If you're juggling work with looking after someone, you're not alone. There are five million working carers in the UK.
Carers UK have up to date advice on your rights as a carer at work. Carers UK website provides helpful information about
- Your rights in work (including the difference between statutory and contractual rights, and your rights around flexible working and protection from discrimination
- Support in work (such as telling your employer or other staff about your caring role, and arranging extra support whilst you are in work)
- If you are thinking of leaving work (including information on benefits and how to start working out the financial impact)
- If you are thinking of returning to work (including a whole section on boosting your skills, as well as information about identifying your skills and interests, and accessing training
Can I go to school or college and still be classed as a carer?
Yes, young carers can find more support on our young carers webpage.
What happens to me when my caring role comes to an end?
The end of your caring role may take some time to adjust to. Having more time to yourself may give you the opportunity for a much-needed rest, but it can also leave you feeling that you have a lot of time to fill. The Carers UK website gives some helpful advice about:
- Taking time for yourself,
- Accessing support from other former carers
- Learning something new
- Starting (or returning to) paid employment
- Helping to provide support to other carers
There are also some useful pages on how to practically manage the transition:
I am a parent; can I still be classed as a carer?
The Care Act relates mostly to adult carers, people over 18, who are caring for another adult. This is because young carers and adults who care for disabled children can be assessed and supported under children’s law.
However, the act means that whole family circumstances will be looked at when assessing the needs of an adult for care. This means, for example, making sure that the position of a young carer will not be overlooked. The Children and Families Act gives young carers similar rights to an assessment as other carers under the Care Act.
An adult caring for a disabled child can get support through children’s services.