Many young people and children under the age of 18 regularly look after a parent or another family member but do not consider themselves as carers.
However, you are a carer if you provide unpaid practical and/or emotional support to someone who needs help. This could be because they are ill, frail or have a disability.
The person you look after might:
• have a physical difficulty
• have hearing or sight loss
• have a learning disability
• have a substance misuse problem
• suffer from mental ill-health
The care you provide might include:
• personal care such as helping with washing and dressing
• assisting with access to the toilet or dealing with incontinence problems
• helping with eating or taking medicines
• offering emotional support
• helping overcome mobility problems
• general help within the home
Young carers providing what is considered to be a 'substantial amount of care on a regular basis' for someone who is aged 18 or over have the same rights as other carers under the Carers Act 1995.
You can request an assessment of your own needs when the person you look after is being assessed for their community care needs. This assessment will look at issues relating to your caring responsibilities including your wishes about accessing education, training, leisure activity or, if applicable, work.
The first step is to get information and advice about the help available. Derby City Young Carers project covers the whole of the city and offers information, advice and support to young carers. The project aims to help young carers take a break from caring through social events, group activities and one to one support. There is also an opportunity to spend time with other young carers who may have similar experiences.