Every day in the UK an additional six thousand people take on a caring responsibility. Often people don’t see themselves as ‘carers’, considering that they are only doing what anyone else would do to look after a family member, partner or friend who needs them.
However, a carer is an individual who provides unpaid help to someone because they have:
This help can be on a short or long-term basis.
Carers fall into three different age categories. The separate groups are created so that support can be specifically tailored for each group with regards to legal rights and responsibilities. This support can also be in for form of social, education and work support amongst peers and/or among other families experiencing the same stresses and joys of being a family carer.
An adult carer cares for a family member who is aged eighteen years or over. This may be a spouse, a parent or other relative. An adult carer may also be a “parent carer” which is defined as a person aged 18 or over who provides care for a disabled child for whom the person has parental responsibility.
For those aged between 16 to 24 years who provide care to a family member with a physical illness or disability, mental health or substance misuse problem, they are given the title of a young adult carer, whether they are providing practical or emotional support to somebody in their family.
Young Carers are children or young people under 16, who care for a family member who is ill or disabled. They carry out significant caring role, looking after a family member with a long-term illness, disability or substance misuse issue.