Looking after someone
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When a family member or friend can't take care of himself or herself any more you may feel that it is your responsibility to step in and help them out. Looking after someone in this way can be rewarding but it can also change the nature of your relationship with someone who you may have known and loved for a long time, and can be tiring, time-consuming and stressful.
But there are plenty of organisations that can offer you advice, emotional support and help to take a break from your responsibilities so that you don't have to feel like you're coping all alone.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 adults (nearly 7 million people) are carers in the UK, and that their caring role saves the country approximately £132 billion per year. Although you might not choose to call yourself a carer, if you are the main provider of care for someone else you are probably legally defined as a carer. This means that you may be able to access a range of help and support from your local council and from independent organisations and charities.
This section will tell you about your rights as a carer, what financial help you might be entitled to, and where to go for advice and support.
Select one of the options from the menu on the left to find out more about what support is out there for you. You may also find some useful information, and details of helpful organisations, products and services in the boxes on the right.