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Who is a carer?

I Care is a Carers Week report published by Carers UK alongside other national charities about people identifying as carers. 

  • 73% of people who are providing or have provided unpaid care do not identify themselves as a carer
  • 46% of those who took longer to identify as a carer missed out on financial support as a result
  • 31% of those who have provided unpaid care said their health and wellbeing had suffered as a result of their caring role

Caring is about relationships, and the ways that people support one another. For many people who are carers, they are more likely to describe themselves as a ‘partner’, ‘friend’, ‘parent’, ‘sibling’ etc.

Sometimes these relationships mean we take on additional responsibilities to care for another person. This is recognised legally in the Care Act 2014 to ensure that as a carer you can access support for your own wellbeing and to help you continue your caring role.

For many people who have caring responsibilities, it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. The level of support you provide may increase gradually, especially if the person who you provide care for is a loved one. For some carers, the care they provide may be a full-time commitment that requires them to give up their paid jobs. 

You are a carer if:

  • you give up your time, without pay, to look after someone who couldn’t cope without your support
  • the person you look after is a family member, partner, friend, neighbour who is ill, frail, has a disability, or substance dependency
  • you support the person you care for with things like emotional support, cooking, cleaning, or helping to get dressed


The Care Act applies to adult carers (people over 18 caring for another adult). It also covers how the councils should work with young carers, and adult carers of disabled children (parent-carers), to move or transition to the adult care and support system. 

People of any age can have a caring responsibility, in relation to any aged person in your life, depending on their circumstances. If you are aged 18-25 you are considered to be a Young Adult Carer, and you can get support from Adult Social Care.

For further information, Carers UK has a guide to the Care Act for carers

Children aged up to, and including, 17 are young carers and are supported by Children’s Services in Camden. Find out more about support for Young Carers.

Finding support that works for you

Being a carer can often be stressful, exhausting and socially isolating. When you feel supported, it can also be a joyful and fulfilling experience. Support includes being connected with other people, being able to take breaks and find headspace, along with practical and financial resources. 

To find out about the different kinds of support available, click through the links at the top of this page.

Alternatively, for information in BSL about support for carers, see the video below:


Further information on support if you are D/deaf, or hard of hearing is available on our Sensory Needs page.

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