You might offer support without thinking of yourself as a ‘carer’. Lots of people who are carers view their role as something they ‘just do’. Recognising yourself as a carer can help you to get the support that you need.
If you care for someone with a lung condition, you might feel alone, frightened or lost. This information will explain the support that is available for you, to help you provide the best care to your friend or loved one.
Carer – a definition
If you provide unpaid support to someone who wouldn’t be able to manage without it, you are a ‘carer’ and you have rights.
A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many people feel they are doing what anyone else would in the same situation; looking after their mother, husband, son, or best friend, for example, and just getting on with it.
I am a carer – what should I do now?
Here are four steps to take:
- Tell your GP about your situation. They will be able to advise you and take care of your health.
- Ask social services for a carer’s assessment. Anyone who is providing substantial care has the right to have an assessment.
- Check what benefits you are entitled to. You might qualify for Carer’s Allowance (CA) or other financial help from the government.
- Ask for help. National and local organisations, including the British Lung Foundation, provide support for carers. This might be through a local group made up of people in a similar situation to you, or via access to useful information.
The BLF values feedback on all of its information. To let us know your views, please contact us.
Last reviewed: May 2012
Due for review: May 2014
For references call 020 7688 5555