Who is a carer?

Carers are individuals who provide or intend to provide unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, frailty, mental ill-health or a drug or alcohol dependency. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.

Carers can be any age and are part of every community and culture. Carers may be parents, spouses, grandparents, daughters, brothers, same-sex partners, friends or neighbours. Some carers may be disabled or have care needs themselves. Carers can provide care and support for more than one person.

What age is a young carer?

A young carer is a carer who is still in education, and/or under 18. For more information about young carers, go to the Young Carers page.

What are my rights as a carer?

Carers have legal rights under the Carers Act Scotland. You can find out more about the key rights that apply under the legislation on our Carers Rights page.

What’s an adult carer support plan?

An adult carer support plan is used to see how a carer can be supported in their caring role.

This is done through a conversation with a worker (e.g. a social worker) and looks at what support the carer needs and what they want to improve.

What about discharge from hospital?

Hospital staff have a duty to involve carers in discharge planning.

This means that hospital staff must talk to the carer before someone is discharged.

The carer should check with the person being discharged if it is ok to talk about their care needs with hospital staff, and if there are any changes in the support they will need when they leave hospital.

What’s a short break?

A short break is a form of support which allows the carer to have time out from their caring role.

This is broader than the term ‘respite’, as it covers shorter periods of time, and a much larger range of activities.

Short breaks cover holiday, leisure, sports, activity or daycare breaks, play schemes, befriending, and funding resources to meet identified goals.

What support can I get as a carer?

There are many services and organisations that provide support and information to Carers across Dundee. For more information on services available to Carers, go to Services Directory

Should I tell my employer I’m a carer?

As an employee you do not need to make your employer aware that you are a carer, however, they may be able to support you in ways you hadn’t considered, or even just have regular support sessions to see how you are. Knowing that your employer is happy to listen and provide support if you need it, particularly if circumstances change for you due to your caring role, can have a hugely positive impact.