I look after someone (unpaid carer)
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"Caring" covers a wide range of situations:
- You are an unpaid carer if you look after a partner, family member or friend who is dependent on you for care and/or support because they are older and frail, disabled, have a long term illness or they need help with everyday tasks because of a significant mental health problem and/or a problem with drugs or alcohol.
- You don’t have to provide care for a set number of hours to be a carer. You may look after someone 24 hours a day/7 days a week or you may provide care for a few hours a week after work or at weekends.
- You don’t have to live with the person you look after to be a carer. You may live with them, or you may call in to help the person you look after. You may provide practical support (like sorting out paperwork, arranging appointments etc.) away from the person you look after.
- You don’t have to be an adult - many children and young people find themselves providing care and support for a dependent parent or disabled brother or sister (if you are under 18 years old make sure you see our page on Young Carers for more information about special support for you).
- You don't need to be receiving Carer's Allowance to be a carer.
Looking after someone can be rewarding but it can also take its toll, be tiring, time consuming and stressful.
These pages are intended to help carers find the support they need to cope with their caring responsibilities, and find out how they can access emotional support and advice and help to take a break.
In Reading and West Berkshire, information, advice and support services for family carers are provided by the Reading & West Berkshire Carers Partnership. The partnership members - Age UK Berkshire, Age UK Reading, CommuniCare and Reading Mencap - all have a successful track record of working with carers.
Contact the partnership
Reading Mencap: For Carer’s of Children & Adults with Learning Disability in Reading:
Age UK Reading offers support to those caring for someone aged 50+.