A carer is anybody who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty or disability. A carer is sometimes referred to as ‘family carer or ‘informal carer’ as opposed to a person who looks after someone as part of their job. All the care they give is unpaid.
Many carers don't see themselves as carers. They simply may think of themselves as a friend or family of the person they care for and it can be difficult for carers to see their caring role as separate from the relationship they have with the person they care for, whether they are a parent, son, daughter, sibling or friend.
The responsibilities and demands of being a carer can often mean that carers overlook their own health and wellbeing. Carers need good sources of help, support and information as they are often focused solely with the health and wellbeing of the person they care for.
If you are a young carer why not visit our young carers section on our Youth Health Matters pages?
Health and Wellbeing
Some carers can suffer from poor health because of the demands of their caring role. For example, back pain can result from lifting or moving the person being cared for. It may also be difficult to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine while caring. Without the right support, being a carer can be an extremely stressful role.
There is a lot of information available to carers, but they may not be aware of where to find it. NHS Choices has lots of information to support carers on a range of topics, including:
- health and wellbeing
- advice and information
- carers assessment
- Personal Budget for carers (following assessment)
- support groups – including specialist ones for mental health, learning disabilities, dementia and other particular conditions
- access to respite care
In Great Yarmouth and Waveney, there are a number of voluntary and community organisations which are there specifically to help you.
- Carers Matter Norfolk
- Norfolk Family Carers
- Norfolk County Council - Adult care
- Norfolk County Council - Children and young people
- Benjamin Foundation
The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston young carers has a great local project, you can get involved by visiting their Facebook page
Your guide to care and support for adults 2017/18
This contains lots of useful information to enable people to stay independent in their own homes for as long as possible. There is information about how to get help and support, what kind of services are available and details of other organisations that can help. It is available free in libraries, GP surgeries and other places across Norfolk. It can be read as an e-book or downloaded here: www.norfolk.gov.uk/careservices
James Paget University Hospital
- Family carer support and information worker based at JPUH (Emma Jones) : 07785 417004
- Louise Hamilton centre (Family carer advice and support service is based here): 01493 453100 (Sue Francis, Family carer lead at Louise Hamilton)
There are also national organisations which can help.