Who is a carer?

A carer is anyone of any age who provides or intends to provide unpaid support and care for another person. They may care for someone who has a terminal illness, disability, a long-term condition, mental health challenges or is affected by addiction.

The support carers’ offer may be emotional or include shopping, cooking, dealing with medication, personal care or attending medical appointments with the person they care for.

Many carers say that it is a privilege to care for a loved-one and that caring brings rewards and a great deal of satisfaction. However, carers can often find it difficult to balance their caring role with other family responsibilities, work and their own social lives. Sometimes carers look after family members and others in very difficult and challenging circumstances, and because they feel obliged to, rather than because it is what they would have chosen to do.

There are also many people who do not recognise themselves as carers and are not aware of the support available to them. South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to working with our partners, including South Ayrshire Carers Centre, education and the third sector, to support carers. We aim to help carers to continue to manage their caring role with confidence, in good health and to have a life of their own out-with their caring role.

South Ayrshire Council is a Carer Positive Employer and recognises the importance of retaining experienced members of staff who find themselves in a caring role. Many employers may also have a policy in place to support carers.

Support is available for adult carers and young carers, including support in the local community.