Am I a carer?

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Anyone could be a carer – a 15-year-old girl looking after a parent with an alcohol problem, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer, or an 80-year-old woman looking after her husband who has Alzheimer’s disease.

 

caregiver or carer is an unpaid or paid member of a person’s social network who helps them with activities of daily living.[1] Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old agedisability, a disease, or a mental disorder.

Typical duties of a caregiver might include taking care of someone who has a chronic illness or disease; managing medications or talking to doctors and nurses on someone’s behalf; helping to bathe or dress someone who is frail or disabled; or taking care of household chores, meals, or bills for someone who cannot do these things alone.

With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of caregiver has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. Many organizations which provide support for persons with disabilities have developed various forms of support for carers as well.

 

3 in 5 of us will care for someone in our lifetime

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Many people do not see themselves as family carers.  Statistically, it takes two years for people to recognise themselves in this role.

Not sure if you are a family carer?

Do you help a family member, child, friend or neighbour that:

  • is frail
  • has a disability or special needs
  • has a chronic illness and/or
  • has a mental illness
  • has dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • has a substance misuse problem with drugs or alcohol

Do any of these statements apply to you?

  • Is this help regular and ongoing?
  • Does this help involve showering, toileting, dressing or other personal care?
  • Does this help involve cleaning, cooking, shopping, transport and/or assistance with bills or other paperwork?
  • Does this help involve medication or other health care?
  • Would this person have difficulty managing on their own if you could not provide regular and ongoing support?
  • Do you receive Carers Allowance or no payment at all?

Download this useful checklist

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