If you care for someone else, please let your practice know so that they can update your medical records.

Are you a carer?

You might not think of yourself as a carer and think what you do is just part of being a parent, spouse, friend, or sibling. As a result, you might be missing out on the support that is available.


Am I a carer?

You might be helping with household tasks such as cleaning or cooking, administering medication, organising, and transporting someone to medical appointments, providing personal care or providing emotional support. You could be doing it once a day, a couple of times a week or all the time. There are no time limits to being a carer.

If you look after someone you love or care about, you may not consider yourself a carer. Caring is something we do as parents, partners, children, sisters, brothers, and friends, often without question, or the need for a label.

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who could not always manage without their support. They might look after someone with a physical disability, long term health condition, mental health issue or a problem with substance misuse.

You could be still at school or college, helping to look after your brother, or a parent with a chronic illness; you could be a husband caring for his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people don’t see themselves as carers and continue caring, often with no support, perhaps until an emergency arises.  Caring can often have an adverse impact on carers own health and wellbeing. Despite this, carers might be put off asking for help because they do not think they are eligible

Practices keep a record of all known carers, as well as those being cared for.  It is important that the Practice team recognises the role that carers play in co-coordinating the care and support required by dependant patients.  Carers should be actively involved in discussions of treatment and expected outcomes; together with the recognition of the impact caring has on them as an individual.


How might caring affect my wellbeing?

Caring for someone can be positive and rewarding, but it can also be challenging, tiring, and isolating.


Health and Wellbeing

Looking after someone can make you physically exhausted – you might be getting up several times in the night as well as caring throughout the day. You might be juggling caring with looking after the rest of your family and holding down a job. Caring can leave you emotionally exhausted and lead to stress, depression, and other mental health issues.



Caring can affect your relationship with your partner or other family members. If you are caring in a couple, you may no longer be able to enjoy shared activities or plan for a future together. Caring can be isolating as you may find you can rarely leave the house. It may be hard to sustain friendships or develop new ones or keep up with interests and activities you may have previously enjoyed. Many young adult carers often miss out on the things their friends take for granted, like going out socialising, enjoying sports, or having a girlfriend/boyfriend.


How might caring affect my life?

Caring can also add strain of other aspects of your like finances or your ability to work or study.


Financial worries

Caring can lead to financial hardship if you have to give up work to care or are managing on benefits. You may not be able to do the things that many of us take for granted, such as house repairs, going on holiday, enjoying a family day out, or running a car. Becoming a carer can feel like a constant battle to access the benefits and other financial help you may need.


Working and learning

Caring may mean that you have to put your chance of a career on hold, or never have the opportunity to have one and reach your full potential. 60% of working carers are worried about their ability to continue for another year and repeatedly have to take time off. You may have to give up work and see your income reduced to benefits. Caring responsibilities mean that many young adult carers find it hard to go to college/university or keep up with course work.


Young Carers

Do you look after someone? Not sure?

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who looks after or helps to look after someone. It might be your mum or dad, grandparent, brother or sister or a close relative. This often means doing things like cooking, cleaning, shopping, giving medication or just talking and helping when the person you care about is feeling sad.

What it means to be a young carer | Carer Support Dorset

Do some of the examples above sound familiar? We are here to help. We know that looking after someone can take up a lot of time and that sometimes it can be difficult to cope. When you spend a lot of time looking after someone else keeping up with school, friends and doing things that you enjoy can be hard to fit in.

Get in touch with Carer Support Dorset by email or phone if you need a bit of support or want to talk to someone who understands. If you aren’t ready to make that step yet, there are some great places you can go to learn more about young carers below.


Carers Card - Recognising Unpaid Carers Throughout Dorset

The Dorset Carers Card gives you access to discounts across Dorset including at cafes, shops, attractions and with professional services. There are hundreds of opportunities across Dorset to use your card visit the Carers Card website to discover the offers available. The Carers Card scheme is run by My Carers Card.

On the reverse of the card there is space for your emergency contact numbers so people know who to contact in the event of an emergency.

Register as a carer with us today and receive one of these free cards. Call them on 0800 368 8349. Once issued, your Dorset Carer Card is valid for five years.

All three versions of the card are current and accepted by businesses.



Social prescribing is when patients are referred to support in the community, in order to improve their health and wellbeing. Patients are connected to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.

Carers in particular need to look after themselves so they can look after others.

Find more information about the service on the Social Prescribing page


Further Information

Our Dorset

Our Dorset is a partnership of health and social care organisations working together to deliver Integrated Care Systems. The vision of Our Dorset is for everyone to have access to high quality, joined-up health, and care services, available when and where they are needed.

Our Dorset provides useful information for carers through the Dorset Council website.

Visit Our Dorset

Carer Support Dorset

Carer Support Dorset is a registered charity that provides support for all carers in the Dorset Council area. They help carers to access services, information, education and training, respite, and breaks from their caring role. They ensure they have a voice that is heard and work with health and social care professionals and employers to raise carer awareness and develop best practice.

For more information phone 0800 368 8349 or visit the Carer Support Dorset.

Carer Support Dorset


CRISP (Carers Resource, Information and Support Programme) is a Carers Support Service offering a range of advice, information and support for carers including help to look after yourself, social events help to take a break from caring, courses to help you care Carers in as a carer, you do an important job. It can be physically and emotionally demanding at times.

The Carers Support Service offers:

  • support, advice, and information
  • emergency back-up scheme for carers
  • help to take a break: vouchers for home support, complementary therapies, or cinema trips; free use of our carers’ beach huts and holiday lodges; fun events where you can meet other carers
  • training to help you care.
  • Advice on getting help for the person you care for.

The Leonardo Trust

The Leonardo Trust is an independent charity to help people in Dorset who are voluntary carers for sick or disabled relatives or friends. We appreciate that being a full-time carer is hard work and that getting time off can be difficult and everyone needs some time to themselves for short periods of rest and relaxation. If finding the money for a few hours extra respite care or to pay for whatever you would like to do to relax is difficult, we may be able to help you.

The Leonardo Trust was originally created by our founder, who herself was a full-time voluntary carer, and has experienced the challenges and issues so really appreciates that having help with certain aspects of life can really make a difference.

Visit The Leonardo Trust