What is a carer?

A Carer is someone of any age, who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.

If you are looking after an ill, disabled or frail elderly relative or friend, you should recognise yourself as a Carer and let your GP know! We add your name to our carer’s register and give you help like offering appointments at times that work for you, give free flu vaccinations to you and discuss what you think is best for the person you care for.

Carers can get a range of support from social care, and can be vital for helping arrange social care support for the person they care for. There are charities that support particular groups of carers, including sibling carers and young carers

A young Carer is someone between the ages of 5 and 18 who is affected by the care needs of a family member or friend requiring practical or emotional support. Please let us know if you are a young carer, we will listen to how caring is affecting you and your needs. We can give you information on looking after your own health, plan for emergencies and find what services and support is available near you such as the Richmond Carer’s Centre who organise events.

Carers Direct

Telephone: 0808 802 0202

Helpline Information:


Office Hours: Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

Useful Links

Social care and support guide
If you or someone you know needs help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability, this website explains your options and where you can get support.

Introduction guide to care and support
This guide is for people who have care and support needs, their carers, and people who are planning their future care needs.

Practical tips if you care for someone
Includes advice on challenging behaviour, moving and lifting people and medicines.

Care after a hospital stay
Includes hospital discharge and care and support afterwards.

Carers' breaks and respite care
Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else.

Support and benefits for carers
Includes carer's assessments, support from local councils, respite care and help for young carers.

Work and Disability
Guidance, support and help with employment issues.

Being a young carer: your rights
You're a young Carer if you're under 18 and help to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

Benefits for carers
As a carer, you may be entitled to one or more state benefits to help you with the costs.

Benefits for the under-65s
You can get a range of benefits if you're between 16 and 64 and you have an illness or disability. The extra money can help with the cost of your care. Check what benefits you can get and how to get them.

Benefits for the over-65s
You can get a range of benefits if you're over 65 and you have an illness or disability. The extra money can help with the cost of your care. Check what benefits you can get and how to get them.

Carer's Assessment
If you care for someone, you can have an assessment to see what might help make your life easier. This is called a carer's assessment.

Other benefits
How to pay for care and support, and where you can get help with costs.

Local Services, Let