Unpaid or Informal Carers

An unpaid or informal carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

The causes of someone taking on caring responsibilities are varied but can include:

  • Serious physical illness
  • Long-term physical disability
  • Long-term neurological conditions
  • Mental health problems
  • Dementia
  • Addiction
  • Learning difficulties.

(Each carer’s experience is unique to their own circumstances).

Someone in their seventies who cares 24/7 for their spouse with severe dementia is a carer. A teenager who offers emotional support and helps to keep the household running as and when the fluctuating nature of their parent’s mental health requires it – is also a carer. The two situations are very different, but both are examples of the 7 million carers in the UK today. Carers Trust.


The Open Dementia e-learning Programme is aimed at anyone who comes into contact with someone with dementia and provides a general introduction to the disease and the experience of living with it. This programme is designed to be accessible to a wide audience and includes a considerable amount of video footage shot by both the Alzheimer’s Society and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) where people with dementia and their carers share their views and feelings on camera. E-Learning

Top Tips for Carers

Sources of Support and Advice

Carers UK Adviceline 0808 808 7777

Links to Other Websites

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