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A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help.

This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. The term 'carer' should not be confused with a care worker, or care assistant, who receives payment for looking after someone.

Most of the help received by people in society who need support comes from friends or relatives acting as carers. A substantial number of these are children and young people. Most people do not choose to become carers, and many do not even recognise themselves as carers, seeing the support they provide as simply what a husband / daughter / son / sister / brother would do for someone they care about.

Carers often do a very difficult and demanding job. The physical and emotional demands involved in caring for somebody else can lead to strain, isolation and even illness (mental or physical). As a carer you need to recognise your own needs for help and support, and you have a right to expect others, such as professionals in health and social care to recognise those rights and direct you towards support which is appropriate for your individual situation.

These pages are intended as signposts to help you find information relevant to your caring situation, but are not a substitute for the specialist advice that individual carers may need.

Carers support

Carers can get information, advice and support from a number of local organisations including Social Services and Swansea Carers Centre.

Finance and benefits for carers

It is not uncommon for carers to experience financial difficulties. Depending on circumstances, there are a number of benefits that carers and those they care for may be able to claim.

Young carers and young adult carers

A young carer is a child or young person whose life is affected by looking after someone with a disability or a long term illness, often taking on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

Carer's needs assessments

If you are an adult, and provide care to a relative, partner or friend, you are entitled to an assessment of your own needs, whether or not the person you care for is receiving any social care services.
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