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Support and advice

 Are you a carer?

Carers are people who provide unpaid practical or emotional support to a family member, a friend or another person who needs help or support to manage daily activities.

A carer may be looking after

  • an older person
  • someone who has a mental health condition
  • someone living with a disability
  • someone with a long-term medical condition
  • someone with a terminal illness.

Carers may be adults caring for other adults. They may be parents looking after children who have a medical condition or disability. There are also young carers (under 18) caring for, or involved in the care of, relatives or friends.

The closeness of the relationship means that care can include emotional support for the person they support. Some carers do not call themselves carers. They just see themselves as a husband, wife, parent, relative, friend or neighbour. Sometimes there can be more than one carer supporting someone as part of a family or community network. At times, the carer may not be recognised as a carer by the person they are caring for.

Caring for someone can be tiring and stressful. Carers can focus so much on the needs of the person they are caring for that they neglect their own health and wellbeing. If you are a carer, it is very important that you also look after yourself.

This page gives you information about the support that is available to you.

 Local support

Our Community directory contains details for many local and national organisations providing support to carers. These include general carers' organisations and those related to specific conditions or disabilities.

  • Carers in Southampton provides advice and support to unpaid carers living in Southampton.
    Phone 023 8058 2387

 National support

Carers UK provides a wealth of information and support including:

  • an advice line - 0808 808 7777. 
  • an online forum  which you can join to connect with other carers to share information support and advice
  • An Upfront guide to caring- a simple tool for carers who are new to the maze of benefits and entitlements. Spend a couple of minutes answering questions and you will be guided to the information you need.
  • Looking after someone guide, which can be downloaded, is for anyone caring for family or friends. The guide outlines your rights as a carer and gives an overview of the practical and financial support available.
  • Being heard - a self-advocacy guide to help you navigate a confusing system, get your message across and cope with complex thoughts and emotions when you are caring.
  • Health advice to help carers look after themselves, including eating well.

CareTeam - homecare coordinator is an app that allows friends, family and neighbours to securely share important information about caring for an adult at home.

National Careline – Phone 0800 0699 784 - for older people and their relatives who are needing advice.

Carers Trust is a national organisation of carers support services with a network of independently managed centres across the UK. The centres provide a range of services, including information and advice on benefits, care and access to services, advocacy, support and practical help for carers.

 Registering as a carer with your GP

You can register your details with your doctor’s practice so that your notes are tagged to indicate that you are a carer or that the patient is a cared for person. It will help your GP if they are aware of your caring responsibilities and the potential impact of your caring responsibilities on your own health. The doctor’s receptionist can then also take account of your needs as a carer when trying to arrange appointment times that fit in with your caring responsibilities.

 NHS advice

The NHS Carers Direct helpline service is designed to help you get the help and support you need as a carer. It offers all the information you should need to get the financial help you’re entitled to, as well as advice on getting a break from caring, going to work and much more. Phone 0300 123 1053.

Pain management help and advice. 

End of life care - Information, advice and search for end of life care, including a search for  local hospices.


AskSARA and Living Made Easy websites offer a range of practical advice, ideas, products and adaptations which may help you as a carer.

 Cinema concessions card

The UK Cinema Association offers the CEA card to disabled people. This entitles any carer accompanying them to a free ticket and is accepted in 90% of cinemas in the UK. The card is available to people receiving disability or attendance allowance, registered blind or holding a disabled person’s railcard. A small processing fee is chargeable per card.

 Help from your local authority

Your local authority can carry out a carer's assessment. These are usually carried out by the Adult Social Care department or sometimes by an organisation on their behalf. Some offer the choice of an initial online self-assessment.

These assessments look not only at the support available from your council but also from a range of private and voluntary organisations. 

For more information:

Hampshire County Council carer's assessment
Southampton City Council carer's assessment
Portsmouth City Council carer's assessment 

 Further information

• See our section on Financial help for carers
• Find out about arranging a Powers of Attorney
• Information about work and career, including flexible working.


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