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Today is Carers Rights Day – an important day, which helps to raise awareness of the needs of carers.

Carers Rights Day also helps us:

  • ensure carers are aware of their rights
  • lets carers know where to get help and support

You might be a new carer or may have been caring for someone for a while. A carer is anyone who cares for someone who could not otherwise manage without their support. You could be caring for a friend or relative who is disabled, ill or older. This includes someone suffering with a mental health illness or addiction.

It’s important to recognise yourself as a carer, even if generally it’s not how you think of yourself. Knowing that you have rights – in the workplace, in a healthcare setting, when interacting with professionals or at home – is important.

It can feel empowering to know what you are entitled to ask for and reassuring to know there is information and support out there, as well as others going through similar experiences. Read our page ‘knowing your rights’ here.

Approaching caring from a feeling of being supported makes it much more likely you’ll be able to continue caring for your loved one long term and protect your own wellbeing and mental health. Read Anne-Marie’s story and find out why acknowledging she was a carer was vital for her.

HR provider Roots HR have written this blog post, which answers many of the questions carers may have – such as what to do if a flexible working request is turned down and what support they can expect to receive from their employer.

David cares for his wife Georgina, who has advanced late-stage Alzheimer’s. He talks about what has helped him continue to care for her at home and advises: “Don’t try to do it all yourself”. Listen to his chat with BBC Radio Wiltshire here.

It can feel empowering to plan for the future as best you can; including making sure you gather information from the person you may be caring for in the future, in the event they will no longer be able to communicate certain things to you. The Living Well Advocacy Service can help with creating a Living Well Plan, which records important information about a person.

If you need help or advice about your caring role, you can find information on our website. Our helpline on 0800 181 4118 is open during normal office hours and staff are there to talk over any issue you are having.