You are a carer if you take responsibility for looking after a disabled, ill or elderly person such as a partner, friend or relative and do not provide the care as part of a job or work with a voluntary organisation.

As a carer, you do not have be living with the person for whom you care. Whilst some carers provide a few hours care a week, others provide round-the-clock care each and every day. Many do this unpaid and without support.

In Northern Ireland approximately 185,000 people are carers (source: Carers Northern Ireland), providing care that is not part of a job or work with a voluntary organisation.

This means that 1 in 8 adults are fulfilling much needed caring responsibilities for loved ones, friends and neighbours. It is essential, therefore, that we attend to their needs.

As a carer, you can ask for your own needs to be assessed when an assessment of need is being carried out for the person you care for, or, indeed, if the person you care for is entitled to an assessment but does not want one.
Once your carer’s assessment has been carried out, the authority must consider what services, if any, can be provided to you or the person for whom you care. The authority may charge for the services provided but the Trusts are empowered to make direct payments to carers (including sixteen and seventeen year old carers) for the services that meet their own assessed need.