Why do carers need support?

Carers are the largest source of care and support in each area of the UK. It is in everyone’s interest that they are supported.

  • Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression.
  • Many carers give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to become a carer.
  • Many carers also work outside the home and are trying to juggle jobs with their responsibilities as carers.
  • The majority of carers struggle alone and do not know that help is available to them.
  • Carers say that access to information, financial support and breaks in caring are vital in helping them manage the impact of caring on their lives.

Carers experience many different caring situations. 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.

Despite these differing caring roles, all carers share some basic needs. All carers also need services to be able to recognise the individual and changing needs throughout their caring journey.

Carers often suffer ill-health due to their caring role. To care safely and maintain their own physical and mental health and well-being, carers need information, support, respect and recognition from the professionals with whom they are in contact. Improved support for the person being cared for can make the carer’s role more manageable.

Carers need support to be able to juggle their work and caring roles or to return to work if they have lost employment due to caring.

Post-caring, carers may need support to rebuild a life of their own and reconnect with education, work or a social life.

With an ageing population, the UK will need more care from families and friends in the future. This is an issue that will touch everyone’s life at some point. Carer support concerns everyone.

Read some carers' stories to see how carers are being supported.