Do you help to look after someone at home? If you do, then you may be a young carer and you and your family may be entitled to support. Young carers are children or young people who look after someone (normally in their family) that has an illness or disability. You may take on practical or emotional caring tasks that an adult would normally do. If you are a young carer, you may be looking after your mum or dad, or maybe your brother or sister. The first thing to know is that you are NOT ALONE. There are THOUSANDS of other young people like you who care for someone in their family.
- Some young carers have to:
- Help lift someone to help them get around or help them wash, go to the toilet or get dressed.
- Look after a brother or sister and make sure they are safe.
- Cheer someone up or support them when they are feeling down.
- Help care for someone by doing the cooking or housework or other jobs in the home.
- Interpret for someone or help them communicate.
If you are a young carer, juggling all your responsibilities may be difficult and it can be hard to find time for homework, activities after school or friends. Getting help and support:
There is a lot of information that might help you if you are a young carer. There are also a lot of people who can help you. Sometimes you might not know where to get help, so here are a few suggestions:
- Speak to your doctor
- Speak to someone at your school
- Speak to a good friend who you trust
- You may want to find out about the local young carers’ service that offers young carers breaks, activities and someone to talk to
- The Carers Trust has a website where you can chat to other young carers, for advice, information and support. Make sure you look at “Who Can Help Me?” Go online at www.youngcarers.net
- Go to Carers Direct www.nhs.uk/carersdirect/Pages/CarersDirectHome.aspx
- Or call Carers Direct on 0808 802 0202 (Free, confidential information and advice for carers. Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.)