Introduction to caring
Throughout the 'caring for someone' section of nidirect, the word 'carer' means someone who looks after a friend, relative or neighbour who needs support because of their sickness, age or disability.
What is a carer?
A 'carer' does not mean a professional care-worker in a nursing home, for example - or someone employed by a person with disabilities. If you are a carer, you may also be entitled to help and support. This section contains some ideas about where to get advice - and includes information about financial support you may receive.
Local Health and Social Care Trusts
Your local Trust may be able to make things easier for you and the person you care for. They may offer help such as home help (like cleaning) or short-term breaks for you as a carer. To find out what services you could benefit from, some issues social services may discuss with you include:
- the help needed for the person you care for
- the help you currently give
This is called a carer's assessment.
To request a carer’s assessment you can contact the Carer Coordinator in your local Trust.
- Contact details for HSC Trust Carers Co-ordinators - DHSSPS website (PDF 23.2KB)
- Help with PDF files
Who pays for care?
You may be able to get some services provided to you in your caring role free of charge. You may be asked to pay some money towards other services. You will not be charged for services provided to the person you care for.
If you are under 18 and care for someone, it is important that you get help and support. You should not have the caring responsibilities that an adult could take on and there are people and services available to help you.
Caring for a child with disabilities
If you care for a child with disabilities, your needs will be considered in the family's needs assessment, through the social services department of your local Trust. You can contact the Trust directly, or you can ask your doctor (GP) to contact them on your behalf.
Your rights as a carer
As a carer, you have certain rights by law. This is laid out in the Carers and Direct Payments Act (NI 2002).