A Carer is anyone who cares unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, is unable to cope without their support. Each carer’s experience is unique to their own circumstances.

Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are just doing what anyone else would do in the same situation; looking after their mother, son or best friend and just getting on with it, but without the right support carers may find their own health and wellbeing suffers in the process. We're here to provide the support to the unpaid adult carers so they can stay healthy mentally and physically. 

If you are a young carer, under the age 18 please contact Carers Trust Tyne and Wear.

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

  • Serious physical illness
  • Long-term physical disability
  • Long-term neurological conditions
  • Profound and multiple learning disabilities / learning difficulties
  • Mental health problems
  • Autism 
  • Dementia / Alzheimer's
  • Alcohol or substance misuse

Just as the reasons why someone becomes a carer vary greatly, the variety of tasks that a carer fulfils is diverse and can include:

  • Practical household tasks such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening and financial management
  • Personal care such as bathing, dressing, lifting, administering medication and collecting prescriptions
  • Emotional support such as listening, offering advice and friendship 
  • Companionship such as supporting someone to got out in the community for shopping or appointments

Although the distinction is often made between a full-time or part-time carer, there is not a minimum time requirement or age restriction that “qualifies” someone as being more or less of a carer.

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. Both are individual examples of the estimated 8.8 million carers in the UK today.

"Thank you so much for all of your help! It's so lovely knowing you are there if I need a chat." Caitlin, a Carer 

Managing the Impact of Caring

Managing the welfare of the person you care for often means less time managing your own work/life balance, which can leave Carers feeling over stretched and under pressure. The majority of Carers struggle on alone ignoring their own needs, not even realising how their caring role has impacted on their own life.

Effects of Caring

  • Relationships may suffer due to lack of quality time together
  • Poverty as carers tend to become less focused on their career and often give up work to care full time
  • Health problems, due to a high level of mental exhaustion and physical strain 
  • Feeling isolated and unable to find support
  • Feeling a loss of identity as a direct result of caring role
  • Unable to take a break from caring.

We know that in order to overcome issues like these, Carers need access to the right information, wellbeing short breaks and financial health, vital in helping to manage the impact of a caring role.

Our dedicated team of Carer Wellbeing Facilitators are here to listen and help make life a little easier for adult Carers in Gateshead, so why not get in touch to see how we can work together to help you look after your own wellbeing. Call 0191 4900121