What is a carer?

You are a carer if you are responsible for providing or arranging care for someone else who cannot care for themselves. A carer is not paid for their role, and is different from a paid professional like a care worker or home help.

You may already describe or think of yourself as a carer. However, you may not be sure if you are a carer or you may not like to use the term.

This booklet is relevant to you if you are supporting:

  • A family member such as your child, parent, sibling, or other relative
  • Your partner
  • A friend
  • A neighbour

You may provide a range of support, including:

  • Giving emotional support
  • Helping someone cope with a mental health problem
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Personal care, like washing and going to the toilet
  • Budgeting and looking after finances
  • Giving medicine or providing medical care
  • Interpreting for someone who is deaf or who does not have Chinese/ English as the first language
  • Reading information and filling in forms for someone who has literacy or concentration difficulties

Anyone can become a carer, no matter their age, gender or background. You may care for someone who has a long-term health condition or someone who needs support after an accident or sudden illness. The care you provide could be short- or long-term. You may or may not live with the person you are a carer for.

“I was completely unaware that what I was doing was a carer role and of the effect it was having on me. I didn’t think about reaching out for support for myself. “

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