A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their support. Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age.

The people they care for may:

  • Be frail
  • Be ill
  • Be disabled
  • Have a mental health problem
  • Have a learning disability
  • Have issues with substance misuse

Many carers do not consider themselves to be a carer. They are just getting on with looking after their mother, son, or best friend, and doing what anyone else would in the same situation.

We recognise that carers are extremely important within families and communities and often help those they care for to live independently for longer.

Becoming a carer can be bewildering, confusing and frightening, so at the end of this page there are links to local and national organisations that can offer advice and support to carers. Our Carer Aware e-learning course may also be of interest to you.

We have a full list of services available for carers in the Southampton area in our directory. You may also want to read our benefits advice for carers.

Arrange a break from caring

If you need a break from your caring role, our information on caring for adults provides you with information on who to talk to and some potential providers of respite care.

You can also search our directory for care agencies that can support respite.

Carers’ assessments

All carers are entitled to an assessment which identifies how they can be supported. Read the council’s Carers’ Assessments page to find out more.

Other support and information for carers

I'm a young carer SHOW

I'm a parent carer SHOW

I'm a carer of an adult SHOW

Contact us

If you cannot find the information you need above, please contact us.

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