A carer is anyone, including children, who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs extra support. Often the care given is unpaid and the person providing care doesn’t see themselves as a carer, as it is difficult to separate their caring role from the relationship with that person.

If you caring for someone there is plenty of support available for you. Below you can find useful tips and contacts:

Find out what support is available to you with a carer assessment

If you are over 18 years old and are caring for another adult aged 18 or over who is disabled, ill or elderly you can request a carer assessment. The carer assessment will identify the support you may be eligible for to help you provide this care. Read more at Carers UK.

Financial support for carers

Are you eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

If you are 16 or over and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to claim Carers Allowance. You do not have to be related to or live with the person you care for.

It is a taxable benefit of £69.70 per week however it may affect other benefits you claim for.  If you receive carers allowance you automatically receive Class 1 NI credits to protect your record.  See if you qualify here (Gov.uk):

Extra financial support

You may be able to apply for extra financial support for other costs that you or the person you care for have, for example prescriptions, dental and eye care or travel costs to hospital appointments through the NHS: NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Are you a young carer?

If you are under 18 years old and regularly care for or support someone in your family with an illness, disability, mental health condition or who has an addiction, you are a young carer. Advice and support for young carers | The Children’s Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)

Help available for young carers

The Children’s Society

raises awareness of young carers in schools, they have a Young Carers Schools programme to develop resources for professionals so that they may better understand the issues these young people face. They also run a Young Carers Festival where young people can have fun, relax, meet other young carers: Supporting Young Carers | The Children’s Society (childrenssociety.org.uk).

Action for Children

Action for children will help you come to terms with your parent’s or other family member’s illness or condition. They’ll help with strategies to enable you to cope better with caring responsibilities and support you to build positive relationships outside the family. They can also help you to plan for the future, by making sure you can access adult services when you reach 18: Young carers | Action For Children

Sidekick is a confidential and anonymous SMS service from Action for Children for you to ask questions and receive support: Sidekick from Action for Children | Text us your question

Support for carers

  • Carers App

    From Carers UK, Jointly makes communication and co-ordination easier between people who care for another person via an app. Jointly combines group messaging and to-do lists with other useful features, including medication lists, calendar and more. (A on-off payment of £2.99 is required.): Jointly App

  • Short Breaks (respite care)

    Respite care means taking a break from caring while the person you care for is looked after by someone else.  It gives an opportunity for you to take time out to look after yourself, preventing exhaustion. Find out what is on offer from your local authority here: Carers’ breaks and respite care (nhs.uk)

Support from charities

  • RAF Benevolent Fund

    The Fund’s Carers Support Package provides information and resources detailing a range of services that meets the needs of carers. Carers can access the RAF Telephone Friendship Groups programme and the RAF Benevolent Fund Listening and Counselling service. The RAF Benevolent Fund can also assist with financial difficulties ranging from care costs to mobility equipment: Support for carers (rafbf.org)

  • The Royal British Legion

    RBL provide support for carers and for those being cared for, get the help you need: Support for carers (britishlegion.org)

  • The Royal Air Force Association (Dementia)

    RAFA have a designated support page for serving personnel living with dementia: Navigating Dementia (rafa.org.uk)

  • Age UK

    caring for an older person can be rewarding but challenging more help is available from Age UK Support for carers (ageuk.org)

  • Carers Federation

    The Carers Federation offers a diverse range of services to carers, including training and advocacy.

    Carers Federation | Supporting carers of all ages

Carers Helplines

Get help finding care services (in the home and residential care)

Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of social care.

Support for carers in the Devolved Nation

If you live in Wales or Scotland the allowances and financial support can differ so you will need to visit the nation specific websites.

Carer support in Wales

  • Carers UK has lots of useful resources for carers in Wales, including welsh language support
  • The Carers Trust also provides information on specific support in Wales

Carer support in Scotland