A carer is anyone, who looks after someone else – a family member, partner, friend or neighbour – who needs help because of an illness, disability, mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.
Anyone can become a carer, from all walks of life, all cultures, all ages. Many carers feel they are ‘just doing what anyone else would do’ in the situation.
Caring for someone is a difficult task which can take its toll on a person. Caring can put significant pressure on a carer, including financial pressure, and there can be other issues as sleep deprivation, a sense of isolation or the stress of being involved in healthcare provision, or social services interventions.
Caring for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder carries its own stresses and risks. Caring for someone who self-harms, has obsessive behaviours or eating disorders, or who has extreme emotional outbursts such as anger, can take a toll on the carer.
Thankfully, there is help available to anyone caring for someone.
Your Local Council
Your local council might be able to arrange practical help to support you when you need a break or are struggling to cope. This could include things like arranging for someone to step in as a carer for a while to give you a break, or providing some extra support for the person you care for, to give you more time for your other responsibilities.
To see if you can get practical help, contact your local council and ask them to carry out a carer’s assessment – all carers are entitled to this.
If you are not sure who your local council is, you can visit the Gov.uk site and enter your postcode into the ‘Find your local council‘ search box.
Carers UK gives expert advice, information and support.They are there to make sure that no matter how complicated your query or your experience, you don’t have to care alone. Their expert telephone advice and support service is here if you want to talk about caring. If you’re looking for answers, our online information and support is the best place to start.
Family Fund is a provider of grants to low income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people. They can help with essential items such as washing machines, fridges and clothing but can also consider grants for sensory toys, computers and much needed family breaks.
Citizen’s Advice can provide information and help on benefits, help with prescription and healthcare costs, and ways you may be able to reduce your household costs.
Turn 2 Us
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. Their Benefits Calculator takes less than 10 minutes to complete and it will tell you which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits. The Grants Search can help you look for funds that might be able to give you a grant or other types of help.