Do you care for someone; a family member, friend or neighbour?

Did you know that 3 in 5 of us will become a carer at some point in our lives?

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.

Today, there are around 7 million carers, proving unpaid care to a family member neighbour or friend in need. That’s around 10% of the population. Anyone can become a carer at anytime. Caring for someone takes place in our communities every day and is not age, gender, social class or culturally specific. We are living longer and as a consequence the strain on our health and social care resources is growing. The UKs unpaid carers save the economy in excess of £119bn every year.

Carers are on duty 24/7, 365 days a year and often find that they are disadvantaged financially and that their own health and wellbeing suffers. Young carers often experience bullying at school, can have a high level of absenteeism and are twice as likely as their counterparts to not be in education, employment or training, meaning their long-term life chances are affected.

If you are on this website, it may be because you are already providing care to someone but maybe you don’t see yourself as a carer, in which case you may not be considering your own needs. It is important that you stay fit and healthy if you are to continue to provide support to someone else. There are a range of entitlements that many people can source if they provide care to someone else. You may also need a break from your caring responsibilities.

This is where Carers Trust can help. Carers Trust is the largest charity providing support and breaks to carers. Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. With a Network of Partners, we aim to ensure that information, advice and practical support such as breaks are available to all carers across the UK.

To find your local service go to http://www.carers.org/carers-services/find-your-local-service and see what help is available. Caring for someone can be physically and emotionally exhausting so knowing what’s available to you is important. Make your yourself count and take a look today. www.carers.org

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