Who is a carer?

Who is a carer?

Do you look after someone who is ill, disabled, has mental health problems or is misusing drugs or alcohol? If they could not manage without your help, and you are not employed to do this, then you are a carer.

You might be looking after someone close to you who needs help and support on a regular basis. Anyone can be a carer, at any time of their life.

At Newcastle Carers we know how hard it can be to look after someone, and we’re here to help with information, advice and support when you need it.

What is the difference between a ‘carer’ and a ‘care worker’?

A ‘carer’ is someone who provides unpaid care and support to someone such as a family member, friend or neighbour.

A ‘care worker’ is someone who is employed and paid to care for someone who is ill, disabled or has a certain health condition. The care worker may assist and support the person with daily living tasks, such as washing or dressing.

Why do carers need support?

Although for some, caring can be a postive and rewarding experience, we know for many others caring can be stressful and challenging, and leave them in need of help and support.

For instance, over 3 million* people juggle caring for someone with work, however due to the demands of a caring role, 1 in 5* carers are forced to give up work altogether.

A caring role can ofter result in financial pressures, isolation, ill-health, anxiety, stress and depression.

Access to information, emotional support, advocacy, financial support and opportunities to take a break can help manage the impact of caring on their lives.


  • There are approximately 6.5 million adult carers in the UK
  • By 2037, it is predicted that the number of carers will increase to 9 million
  • 58% of carers are women and 42% are men
  • More than 1 million people care for more than one person
  • Carers save the economy £132 billion per year (approximately, £19,336 per carer)
  • More than 3 million people are juggling caring whilst also in employment
  • Due to the demands of caring, 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work altogether
  • Due to the stress and physical demands of caring, 625,000 carers suffer mental and physical ill health
  • Over 1.3 million people provide over 50 hours of care per week.

Statistics from Carers UK. To find out key facts about carers and the people they care for, visit Carers Trust.

*Carers UK  (October 2015) Policy Briefing

** Office for National Statistics, Census 2011

Our service is free, confidential and non-judgemental.