Many people end up as carers without ever realising that they are. If you look after your partner, a relative or friend who is ill, disabled or frail, you are a carer.
There are many ways that you might care for someone:
There is estimated to be 6.5 million carers in the UK. The majority are spouses, partners, sons and daughters who are looking after someone they love, they see what they do are a normally part of their lives rather than providing care.
The number of carers is growing and with the elderly population continuing to rise the number of carers has to increase. Research from Carers UK shows that three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives.
Looking after someone you love may feel like the right thing to do but it can also be very hard. Having that personal connection can sometimes by harder than if you were looking after a relative stranger.
Recognising your role as a carer is an important step towards ensuring you get the right help and support. All carers are entitled to a free carer’s assessment of their needs, and are protected by certain rights in the workplace.
Caring can be very lonely so make sure you do get support, be that financial, physical or by getting some time to yourself. There are many organisations that can give you advice at no cost: Carers UK and Age UK are good places to start.
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