What is a carer?

How do you know if you are a carer and what this can mean

What is a carer?

A person who provides unpaid support to a partner, family member, friend or neighbour who is ill, struggling or disabled and could not manage without this help.

Family carers are not paid and do not always live with the person they care for. They may be caring for a partner, friend, neighbour or relative. Becoming an unpaid carer is not usually a conscious choice.

Many individuals do not think of themselves as carers and because of this no one else knows that they are either. This means that they may not be aware of the services which exist in their local community, virtually and nationally to support them.

The Care Act, which came into force on 1 April 2015, recognises the role that family, friends and the community can play in caring for people who cannot manage without help, because of illness, frailty, mental health need, substance misuse or disability.

The Act recognises the needs of family and unpaid carers and has a duty to prevent or reduce your needs.

Caring roles can affect your work, relationships, hobbies and personal and social lives. We know it can be difficult to take time out to pursue an activity, take a holiday or time to relax. 

Your health and wellbeing is as important as the person you care for and there are many ways to improve your quality of life and sense of well-being.

We are working in partnership across the county to recognise your expertise and experience, and to develop support in communities, so that you can live more independently of public services, and feel in control of your life.

When carers need more help and support, we will be able to work with our partners as effectively as possible to ensure this is provided. 

This approach will support you to:

  • have control in your life
  • maintain your caring role without depending on services
  • be part of a carer friendly community

 Read Suffolk County Council's Family Carers in Suffolk Strategy 2016-21 (PDF, 400KB)

Live Chat Software by Click4Assistance UK