How to Get Support If You're a New Carer

If you have recently become a carer, you may need to consider tapping into support structures and services - find out how below.

In 2022 Carers UK estimated the number of unpaid carers could be as high as 10.6 million, whether that's looking after someone with a disability, mental or physical illness or support for someone elderly. 

If you've noticed that your responsibilities for a relative (or friend) in need of extra support has increased, here are a few things to consider... 


Are you an 'accidental' carer? Did your caring responsibilities creep up on you so slowly that you didn't realise, and it took a while for you to realise that you had actually a become 'a carer'?

Are you an unpaid carer? Are you one of the millions of carers who do their caring out of love, friendship, or duty while juggling the responsibilities of the rest of your work and family life? 

Are you a covert carer? Do you care for someone but no one at work or within your network knows (or therefore makes allowances or support) for this additional role?

While caring for someone can be a very rewarding experience, it can also be an exhausting and isolating one. Becoming visible in four key ways will help you tap into support structures and services. 

How to Become Visible

  1. Tap into services. Carers' assessments can be an important starting point to establish what care, equipment, and services are needed. They will also help establish what support can be put in place for carers as well as the dependant. It's important to note that the wider your visibility within the care system, the more the system will start functioning to provide support.
  2. Be honest with friends, family, and work. It's easy to become disconnected as caring pressures increase. Asking for support is a sign of strength not weakness and will help you feel less lonely and isolated. Do you have a carers network at work or are any of your friends and local community also carers?
  3. Support from peers. No one understands the challenges of caring more than other carers. Speaking to others facing the same challenges and simply understanding that others are dealing with the same issues, frustrations and limitations can be really liberating and a great source of support - as well as information. Try local groups or branches of national associations as well as niche Facebook support groups.
  4. Be Loud! The more carers stand up to be counted, the greater the wider awareness will be in the community and the more their needs will be looked at and considered, and their contribution to society recognised. 

There are a number of resources for carers including local and national carers associations, but these are a good starting point. 

Age UK
Helping Hands
Chosen With Care 
Carers Trust
Carers UK 
MND Association
Dementia UK
Alzheimer's Association