Anyone can become a carer and they come from all walks of life
and cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are doing what
anyone else would in the same situation; looking after their
mother, son, or best friend and just getting on with it.
Carers don't choose to become carers, it just happens and they have
to get on with it because if they didn't do it, who would and what
would happen to the person they care for?
Carers are the largest source of care and support in each area
of the UK. It is in everyone's interest that they are
- Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty,
isolation, frustration, ill health and depression.
- Many carers give up an income, future employment prospects and
pension rights to become a carer.
- Many carers also work outside the home and are trying to juggle
jobs with their responsibilities as carers.
- The majority of carers struggle alone and do not know that help
is available to them.
- Carers say that access to information, financial support and
breaks in caring are vital in helping them manage the impact of
caring on their lives.
Carers experience many different caring situations. It could be
someone looking after a new baby with a disability or caring for an
elderly parent or supporting a partner with a substance misuse or
mental health problem. Despite these differing roles, all carers
share some basic needs and need services to be able to recognise
the individual and changing needs throughout their caring
Carers often suffer ill-health due to their caring role. To
care safely and maintain their own physical and mental health and
well-being, they need information, support, respect and recognition
from the professionals with whom they are in contact. Improved
support for the person being cared for can also make the carer's
role more manageable.
Carers need support to be able to juggle their work and caring
roles or to return to work if they have lost employment due to
caring. Post-caring, carers may need support to rebuild a life of
their own and reconnect with education, work or a social life.
With an ageing population, the UK will need more care from
families and friends in the future. This is an issue that will
touch everyone's life at some point, and carer support concerns
Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust recognises the
essential role that carers take on in supporting people with mental
health problems across the city and in working in partnership with
the Trust to improve the services we provide. The Trust also
recognises the impact that caring responsibilities place on carers
and that there is therefore sometimes a need to provide support to
people in their caring role. Support from family members, friends
or neighbours is often critically important for people with mental
health problems. Caring for someone can be a rewarding experience
but it can also be very challenging.
Caring responsibilities can impact upon family life, friendships
and social relations. They can also affect health and
wellbeing, finances, and the ability to work or pursue education or
leisure activities. There are six million carers in the UK,
providing unpaid care for ill, frail or disabled family
members, friends and partners, and every day another six thousand
people take on a caring responsibility (Carers UK) and this number
is likely to increase as the population expands and ages. Within
their 2007 report Carers UK estimated that carers save the country
£87 billion a year; which amounts to around £15,000 per carer per
Across Manchester, it has been estimated that approximately 22%
of the adult population have responsibilities as a
carer. With approximately 375,000 adults living within
Manchester this means there are anything up to 82,500 people who
provide a range of emotional and practical forms of support,
without which many people would not be able to live independent or
fulfilling lives. The Trust is fully committed to engaging
with carers at a range of different levels to reflect their
ever-changing and variable roles. This includes making a
pledge to treat carers with respect and dignity and to ensure that
carers' needs, views and interests are represented at the most
senior levels within the organisation, including on the Trust's
Council of Governors when we become a Foundation Trust.