The contribution that carers make to health and social care cannot be over-estimated. Their role is invaluable.
Thanks to their hard work and dedication, tens of thousands of people in Northern Ireland are able to remain independent and continue to live in the community.
In Northern Ireland there are over 214,000 carers – that’s 1 in 8 of the population.
It is also estimated that at some stage during their lifetime, 6 out of 10 people will take up a caring role.
A carer is usually someone who provides help and support to a family member or friend who cannot manage without their help.
Individual circumstances mean that no two carers are the same, or have identical needs.
Carers can be –
(Informal carers are not the same as formal or employed carers who provide a service on a paid basis.)
Carers do not have to –
The person being cared for can be of any age and have one or a combination of the following conditions:
Carers help out in a number of ways, providing both practical and emotional support and assistance with things such as:
|Cooking.||Cleaning.||Getting out and about.|
|Collecting medication.||Financial matters.||Sorting out benefits.|
|GP or hospital appointments.||Bills and other paperwork.||Taking medication.|
Some carers help by watching out for someone to try and make sure that they do not harm themselves, or that they get more help if things get worse.
For some carers, such as those caring for people with mental health illness or learning disabilities, caring may be about simply ‘being there’ to reassure or encourage the person.
People often don’t realise how much they are caring for someone and that they can get support in their caring role.
If you are a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your needs.