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Practical guide to caring

Practical tips to guide carers through getting support to look after an ill or disabled person

Your rights

Carers have specific rights set out by English law. Find out how these laws can help you get support at home and in the workplace.


If you provide a lot of care for someone, ask to be assessed by your local authority so that it can agree what support you need. This section explains the process and how it can benefit you.

Practical support

How to access services, aids, equipment and help to support you in your caring role, and how to get help with paying for this support.


Be prepared for those times when you can't look after the person you care for, and find out how local emergency schemes can help.

Different types of caring

Your situation may be very different from other people's experiences - read these pages to find tips on different kinds of caring.

Parent caring

Learn about the issues you may face while caring for your ill or disabled child, including how to care for them, where to get help and how to care for the rest of your family.


Information on the support available to you if you're caring for someone with speech, language or communication problems.

End of life issues

Issues to consider when the person you care for is approaching the end of their life, and bereavement support after they've died.

Mental health support

About the support available if the person you care for has mental health problems.


Find information on travel and mobility schemes to help getting around for you and the person you care for.

Asylum support

If you are a carer who is seeking asylum in the UK, you may be able to get help with housing, health, education, jobs and money.

Vulnerable people

Information if you are concerned about a vulnerable person that you look after, including signs of abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse.

Last reviewed: 02/09/2009

Next review due: 02/09/2011

Call Carers Direct on 0808 802 0202

Free, confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines and mobiles or you can request a free call back.

You can also ask for a call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

You can send a query to our advisers by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

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Confused? Let our jargon-buster help

An A-Z explaining all the information you need in your role as a a carer.

Caring for a parent at home

In this video, Claire and her family talk about the decision to care for her mother at home.