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How do I know if I am a carer? - Plymouth Young Carers


Plymouth's Information for Carers of Friends and Family Hub

Plymouth's Information for Carers of Friends and Family Hub provides useful information and links to help adult carers effectively support to their friends, family and relatives.

The word 'Carer' is something we hear used often - but how do you know if it applies to you?

If you're reading this, you may be wondering if you, or someone you know, is a carer. Many people take pride in looking after those important to them, and may not have considered if they're a carer. But, actually, many more of us are carers than we realise.

Asking yourself 'Am I a carer?' and recognising yourself as one can help you get the support you need - and, while you might not feel like you have the time to focus on yourself, accessing that support can help the person you're caring for, too.


What is a carer?

Supporting someone else is sometimes called caring. You are a carer if you provide (unpaid) support and care for someone who has an illness, disability, mental health problem or addiction. Carers can provide all sorts of emotional and practical support. Family and Friend carers (sometimes referred to as unpaid or informal carers) are different to paid care workers who earn money for looking after someone.


Is it obvious when you're a carer?

Being someone's carer probably only describes part of your relationship with them. You may also be a parent, partner, sister, brother, child, friend or other family member. This relationship can be just as (or more) important to you. You may also have other caring roles as well, for example as a parent to other children.

You might even be caring for someone you have a difficult or distant relationship with. Either way, once unpaid carers have identified themselves as being in a caring role, many wish they had sought help sooner.

Supporting others can often be rewarding however it can be mentally and physically exhausting. The time you spend caring can really vary too - some people look after someone for just a short time and others find themselves caring for someone 24 hours a day for a long period of time.


How do I know if I'm a carer?

If you are a carer, there is practical, emotional and financial support available that you may be able to access. The tasks below are examples of what carers may do to for the person they care for:

  • Helping out with day-to-day domestic tasks forms a large part of caring roles. This may include food shopping, helping them keep their home tidy, and helping them do their laundry.
  • Supporting a person when they're outside their home can be part of being a carer, too. This may include helping them get out and about, helping them travel to appointments and helping them spend time with family or friends.
  • Sometimes caring involves doing things for people that they would normally do for themselves. This may include helping them to wash themselves, helping them to get dressed and helping them to take their medicine.
  • Caring can also involve helping with or taking control of a person's finances. This may include helping them pay bills, helping organise their finances and helping them with budgeting.
  • Emotional support is also a big part of the support a carer provides. This may include sitting with them to keep them company, watching over them when they can't be left alone or visiting, ringing, or texting them to check they're feeling ok.


What next?

There are 3 ways to register as a carer and to get information, advice and support.

  1. Register online using the register as a carer form and we will contact you
  2. If you would like to talk about your caring role and have an opportunity to meet with a Carers Support Coordinator please contact Caring for Carers on 01752 201890 or email 
  3. Contact Plymouth City Council Adult Social Care on 01752 668000

Don't live in Plymouth? Find carer services in your area.

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This page was last updated on 15 February 2022

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