What is a carer?

Not everyone thinks of themselves as a carer. You may think you are just doing your bit to help. Recognising that you are a carer is important in getting the support you need. As well as working, you may have other family responsibilities.

For many people living with cancer, the practical and emotional support of family and friends is vital. As cancer treatments improve, more people are living with cancer for longer.

As a result, there are almost 1.5 million people in the UK caring for someone with cancer. Becoming a carer is often something you have not planned for. It may happen suddenly or over time.

Being a carer is physically and emotionally demanding, but it can also be a rewarding experience. As a carer it is very important you get the practical, emotional and financial support you need. If you carry on working, you may also need support in the workplace.

Getting a balance between being a carer and working can be challenging but not impossible. In any workplace around the UK, about 1 in 9 people are working while being a carer. Carrying on working can benefit a carer, their employer and the person they care for.

It is important to look after yourself. It helps in your caring role, in your relationship with the person you care for and in your work life.

I never thought of myself as a carer. I was just being a daughter, looking after my dad.

Victoria, who cared for her dad

Back to If you're a carer

Making decisions about care

If you’re a carer, you may sometimes find it difficult to know how much support you should and can provide.

Making decisions about work

If you’re a carer you may want to stop working temporarily or completely. It’s important to consider the implications of your decision.

Support for you

Caring for someone with cancer can be challenging and tiring. Help is available to support carers and enable them to look after their loved one.

Your rights at work

It's important to be aware of your legal rights as a carer. Your human resources department may be able to help you.

Carers Week 8 - 14 June 2015

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the 6.5 million carers in the UK and highlight the challenges they face.