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Are you caring for someone?

What is a carer?

If you provide unpaid support to someone who couldn’t manage without your help because of old age, a disability, an illness, mental health problems or an addiction, then you are a carer. The person you care for may be your partner, parent, child, a relative or a friend. A carer can be an adult or a child. In West Sussex there are over 84,000 adults who are carers and an estimated 6,000 young carers aged under 18.

What information can I find here?

The information on these pages is for people who are looking after an adult with care or support needs. If you are a parent caring for a child under 18 with special needs or a disability, go to the Education, children and families section of the West Sussex County Council website or phone Children’s Access Point (CAP) on 01403 229900 or email

What does a carer do?

Carers may give different kinds of care, for example:

  • practical support, such as help with shopping, cooking, housework or managing finances;
  • personal care, such as help with washing, dressing, getting around or going to the toilet; and
  • emotional support, such as listening and offering advice.

Caring for someone can be hard and it may put a strain on your own physical and mental health. It can also limit your ability to work, socialise or get out and about, so it’s important to make sure you are supported too.

What support is available in West Sussex for carers?

Adult carers who look after another adult in West Sussex are entitled to an assessment of their needs by West Sussex County Council. The assessment looks at your caring role and the impact that being a carer has on your life and wellbeing. The assessment will tell you whether you can receive funded support from the county council and give you details of carers groups, benefits information and other services to support you. There are free support services for all carers in West Sussex provided by Carers Support West Sussex.

Young carers who are under 18 are supported by a specialist team in West Sussex County Council’s Children’s Services. For more information, go to the Young Carers section of the West Sussex County Council website.

Things that you can do

Register for our West Sussex Digital Offer at Carers UK

Read the top ten tips for carers in West Sussex

Look after your own health and wellbeing

Fill in a carer's self-assessment

Consider telecare

Support services that are available

West Sussex County Council

Carers Support West Sussex

Carer Health and Wellbeing Fund

Emergency back-up services

West Sussex Young Carers

Further information

The demands of caring can often lead carers to give up their job or reduce their working hours. You can find out more about your rights if you are working and caring for someone on Carers Trust’s carers and employment page.


Click on the image                        Click on the image                 Click on the image to watch the video (5mins)

to download the leaflet  to             download the leaflet

(PDF, 461KB)                               (PDF, 756KB)

The video above aims to help professionals understand their role in identifying family and friend carers and signposting them for support as necessary.

More information can be found on the following pages:

Carewise care funding scheme - easing the worry of paying for long-term care

  1. A West Sussex County Council supported scheme which supports people to find the most suitable method of paying for long-term care. As with all important financial decisions, it is vital that you seek trusted independent advice. Whether you're  thinking about funding residential/nursing home care or care in your own home, the Carewise-approved care fees specialists will be able to advise you on products and services across the whole market.  Click here to find out more and to book your FREE consultation with an independent care fees specialists.

If you are caring for a older parent and are struggling to cope, age space may provide some support. Find out more at

Last reviewed: 29/04/2019

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