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Are you a carer?

Do you help someone with...

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If yes, you are a carer, and you’re not alone. We can help you find the information and support you need.

If you look after a relative, partner or friend of any age, who needs help due to a physical or mental illness or disability, frailty or an addiction, then you are a carer. The care you provide is unpaid and:

  • you may be new to caring or have been caring for many years. You may have taken on a caring role gradually or become a carer overnight (for example, due to a relative’s hospital admission);
  • the care you provide may be practical or personal care or supervision or emotional support;
  • you may live with the person you care for, or you may be travelling a long distance from your own home to look after someone, for example, an elderly relative.

A young carer is anyone under the age of 18 who has responsibility for the care of someone who is ill, has a disability, is experiencing mental health problems or is affected by substance misuse. A young adult carer is 18 – 25 years old.

Parent carers are carers who have parental responsibility for a child with a disability under the age of 18.

Carers come from all walks of life, from different cultures and can be any age. Our service is for carers over the age of 18.

 

Issues that affect carers

Caring for someone can be enormously rewarding, but there are also times when it is physically and mentally exhausting. Being a carer can be confusing and lonely. There are often different arrangements to be made, disability benefit forms to fill in, information to find, and several organisations to deal with. Although you are in a new situation you’re expected to become an expert in ‘care’.

Caring is based on a relationship: it is complex and every care situation is unique. Despite this, there are shared concerns, and carers are more likely to experience:

  • low income (perhaps you have given up work or reduced your hours of work in order to care);
  • isolation (it can be difficult to maintain friendships due to caring responsibilities);
  • reduced confidence and self-esteem (often as a result of isolation);
  • fatigue and ill-health (carers are twice as likely to develop long-term conditions, including mental health problems, than the general population);
  • lack of choices (due to the lack of timely and accurate information about all the issues above)
  • There are 6.5 million carers in the UK and, according to the 2011 Census, there are 30,629 carers in Bolton (of these, 7,935 carers provide 50 hours or more care each week)
  • One in 8 households has a carer in them
  • 3 in 5 people will be carers at least once in their lives
  • The peak age for caring is 45 – 64
  • 4 out of 10 carers are men

Recognising yourself as a carer is the very first step to getting the support you may need.

How many carers are there?
  • There are 6.5 million carers in the UK and, according to the 2011 Census, there are 30,629 carers in Bolton (of these, 7,935 carers provide 50 hours or more care each week)
  • One in 8 households has a carer in them
  • 3 in 5 people will be carers at least once in their lives
  • The peak age for caring is 45 – 64
  • 4 out of 10 carers are men
  • Each carer saves the government £18,473 per year (Valuing Carers, Carers UK, 2011)