Support for Carers
There are an estimated 20,000 carers in East Lothian.
A carer is “anyone who provides care, unpaid, for a friend or family member, who due to illness, disability, or a mental health problem cannot cope without their support.” Their role ensures that cared for people can continue to remain as independent as possible, and as such, carers are often the most important person in the lives of the people who are given support. Carers are therefore often family members, friends and neighbours first and caring emerges and evolves as part of this existing relationship.
Carers are people of all ages, in employment, education, unemployed, retired or care full time. They may provide considerable levels of care, or may provide care a few times a week depending on what is needed and around other more formal support in place. Each carer will have their own specific set of circumstances.
Why identify as a carer?
Many people who care for a friend or family member don’t identify as ‘Carers’, they may see themselves as a partner, parent or friend just doing what they can or what is expected to support someone close to them.
Individuals report that undertaking this role can have many positive rewards including strengthening the relationship between the carer and the cared for person and a sense of satisfaction in contributing to the life of the person they care for. However it must be recognised that caring, especially when the role is more intensive, can have a huge impact on the life of the carer, their general health and well-being, their finances, their relationships and caring can increase social isolation.
Identifying as a ‘Carer’ can help a person access help and support to make their caring role more sustainable and to live a life of their own alongside caring.