Information For Carers

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Support For Carers

What is a Carer ? A carer is usually someone who provides help and support to a family member or friend who cannot manage without their help.

Link to Search Results in Carers Category

Carers can be -

  • Adults caring for other adults.
  • Parents caring for an ill or disabled child.
  • A young person caring for another family member.

(Informal carers are not the same as formal or employed carers who provide a service on a paid basis.)

Carers do not have to –

  • Live with the person they care for.
  • Be the only carer.
  • Be related to the person they care for.
  • Be receiving a Carer’s Allowance.

The person being cared for can be of any age and have one or a combination of the following conditions:

  • Be frail.
  • Have a physical or sensory disability.
  • Have a mental health illness.
  • Have a learning disability.
  • Have a physical health condition.

Carers help out in a number of ways, providing both practical and emotional support and assistance with things such as:

  • Dressing.
  • Bathing.
  • Shopping.
  • Cooking.
  • Cleaning.
  • Getting out and about.
  • Collecting medication.
  • Financial matters.
  • Sorting out benefits
  • GP or hospital appointments.
  • Bills and other paperwork.
  • Taking medication.

Some carers help by watching out for someone, to try and make sure that they do not harm themselves, or that they get more help if things get worse.

For some carers, such as those caring for people with mental health illness or learning disabilities, caring may be about simply ‘being there’ to reassure or encourage the person.

People often don’t realise how much they are caring for someone and that they can get support in their caring role.

If you are a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your needs.

The first step towards getting advice and support is to contact a Carer Coordinator.

Support In Your Local Area

There are Carers Co-ordinators in each of the Trust areas. These  Co-ordinators support carers by actively identifying needs of the carers and developing services and actions to address these needs.

The Coordinators work in partnership with other voluntary organisations such as carers' support groups or carers' organisations to ensure that all carers are provided with the support and care that they need to remain in the caring role.

Carer Services in Trust Areas

Carer Support in Belfast Trust Area

Carer Support in Northern Trust Area

Carer Support In South Eastern Area

Carer Support in Southern Area

Carer Support in Western Area

What is Carer's Allowance ?

Carer's Allowance is money to help you look after someone who needs to be cared for

If you’re aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or has a disability, you may be eligible for Carer's Allowance


CAUSE is a unique peer-led regional charity offering services to families, partners and friends across Northern Ireland caring for a loved one who has experienced serious mental illness.

Centre For Independent Living

Centre For Independent Living promotes the principles of independent living and, in particular, to provide a range of services for people using or considering using Direct Payments and/or Self-Directed Support

Direct Payments

Direct payments are available from Health and Social Care Trusts for someone who is assessed as needing help from social services. You can usually receive a direct payment if you are a carer aged 16 or over.

Self Directed Support

Self Directed Support enables individuals to choose how their support is provided and gives them as much control as they want over their Personal Budget. 


Carer's Advice Helpline   0808 808 7777 

provides a range of general and specialist advice services for carers. Trained advisers can provide advice and information on a wide range of issues – welfare benefits, community care and carer support 

open on Mondays and Tuesday between 10am and 4pm

Autism NI Helpline  028 9040 1729

provides practical and emotional support, a listening ear, enhancing networks and coping mechanisms, the Autism NI Helpline bridges families to appropriate services in their area.

Helpline open Mon, Wed & Thurs (9am-5pm) and Tues & Fri (9am-1.30pm)

CAUSE Helpline  0845 60 30 29 1

provides  access to support and information from our dedicated team of Carer Advocates all who have direct personal experience of supporting a loved one with mental illness.

Related Documents

Carers Allowance Fact Sheet

Autism - A Guide For Families

Autism Adult Care Pathway

Brain Injury Family Dynamics and Caring Responsibilities

CAMHS Pathway

EA Supporting Young Carers In Schools Booklet

Self Directed Support

Health and Social Care Trust Areas

Carers NI Coming out of hospital

Carers NI Looking after Someone 2022-23

Last Updated: 15/12/2022