If you provide unpaid support to a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems, you are a carer.

You might feel you’re doing what anyone else would in your situation – looking after your partner, child or best friend and just getting on with it – but it's important to recognise you’re a carer and have access to a range of support services, especially because caring can be physically and emotionally demanding.

If you’re not sure if you are a carer, you could start by taking the Charity’s simple ‘Carer’s Test’ at www.foryoubyyou.org.uk/carers-test The test results will help you identify the help and support available from the Charity.

For example, carers are legally entitled to an assessment of their own needs and you probably have questions about rights, entitlements or services which you never needed to know about before becoming a carer. These assessments are available through your Local Authority in England, Wales and Scotland and through the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Carer’s Statement

In 2017 the Charity introduced the Carer’s Statement – available to all former and retired civil servants and their informal carers as a communication tool for use with GPs, Health and Social Care Professionals and Carers’ Organisations. The Statement provides details of the caring responsibilities and the impact they’re having on you so that you can access the support and advice you’re entitled to – it also avoids the need for you to continually repeat yourself and explain your circumstances.

Emergency Plan

When it comes to emergencies, being prepared can’t stop them happening, but it can make difficult and worrying situations more manageable. And it’s at these times that being prepared matters most. Creating an Emergency Plan will help you to consider what would happen to the person you care for, and how they would be supported, if you were to be taken ill and were unable to care.

The Charity’s Emergency Plan also acts as a safe way to hold essential information about the person you care for, what their care needs are and who needs to be informed in an emergency situation.  

For all caring queries that you may have, take a look at the Charity’s specific webpages www.foryoubyyou.org.uk/caring or call to speak to an Advisor in confidence on Freephone 0800 056 2424.