One In Eight Care
This document is also available in pdf format (1.4MB)
Over 600,000 people in Scotland are carers.
That's an amazing 1 in 8 of us!
Are you looking after someone?
Do you look after someone who is ill or disabled, or simply could not manage without your help?
Do you help someone with washing, feeding or dressing?
Do you collect medicines for people and make sure they take them on time?
Do you collect benefits or pensions for someone, pay their bills or help them manage their money?
Then you are a carer
A carer is someone of any age, including children and young people under 18, who looks after a relative, partner or friend. It may be full time, part time or just now and then.
You may not see yourself as a carer. You may feel that you are simply looking after your partner, child, relative or neighbour.
Help is available
You and the person you look after may be able to get help from your local council or the NHS.
You may be able to get:
help with household tasks or caring for the person you look after;
information on benefits and other financial help that is available;
equipment or adaptations to your home to help make caring easier; or
a break from caring.
You can ask your local council to carry out a community care assessment with the person you care for to find out what help they need. As their carer, you will also get a chance to say what you feel they need.
New laws mean that you can also ask your council for a separate carer's assessment, at any time, of your situation as a carer. This will allow you to say what support you feel you need to help you care.
You may not need help at the moment, but you may want to know about your rights. You may just want advice or information, or to meet other carers.
Or, you may want to help decide the kind of support there should be in your area for carers and the people they look after. You can find out how to get involved with your local carers' group from your council, or a carers' organisation (see the end of this leaflet).
How to find help
Your local council's social work department can tell you about your rights, and what help is available. The council can also arrange an assessment for you or the person you look after. The phone number of your council is listed in the phone book.
You can also ask your GP, GP practice, district nurse or health visitor to help you contact the council.
You can call the NHS Helpline for information about help and support for carers in your area.
Whatever your situation, the Helpline can give you help and advice.
0800 22 44 88
Calls are free, and lines are open from 8am to 10pm every day.
The Helpline can:
help you find local organisations that support carers;
put you in touch with someone in your local council; or
give you general information on financial help and other help that is available to carers.
There are also other organisations that give information and support to carers, and run local carers' centres.
You can find their details in your Yellow Pages phone book under 'Carers', by calling the NHS Helpline or by contacting one of the following organisations.
Information on carers' rights and general advice on practical and financial matters for carers.
Phone: 0141 221 9141 or
Carersline 0808 808 7777 (Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm)
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Provides a network of support centres for carers across Scotland, including projects to support young carers.
Phone: 0141 221 5066
This leaflet is endorsed by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Carers Scotland.
Further copies of this document are available on request, in audio and large print format and in community languages, please contact:
Hayley Brown, 0131 244 4040.