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Carer support

Support for Carers

Image: Visual representation of six in ten people - coloured icons of people six red and four grey.

Six in ten people in NI will take up a caring role at some stage during their lifetime.

Covid-19 Vaccination information

The COVID vaccination programme has now successfully delivered over 1 million vaccines to people in Northern Ireland.
Over 67,000 people booked a vaccine through the carer category with many thousands more carers having booked for a vaccine due to their age.
The vaccine booking system is expected to open up to under 30 year olds within the next few weeks.
Therefore the pathway for carers to book a vaccine through their local Trust has now been closed.
GPs have been issuing letters to those families who live with someone who is severely immunocompromised to encourage them to book for a vaccine.
If you have received such a letter please follow the instructions contained in the letter.
You are able to book online using the vaccine web portal or can arrange a vaccine appointment by phone – the details will be in the letter you received.

Covid-19 support information

The pandemic has led to many services being stood down in order to protect the vulnerable and keep people safe. That has had a significant impact on many carers who have found the last few months very challenging.

If you are feeling under pressure, please contact your named worker or carer coordinator for support.

Please make use of the information that is available on the Department of Health website –

Carers ID Card information available here: – Priority Shopping

Stress Control classes are available via this link – Stress Support.

For more information on mental health and well-being visit –

The contribution that carers make to health and social care cannot be over-estimated. Their role is invaluable.

Thanks to their hard work and dedication, tens of thousands of people in Northern Ireland are able to remain independent and continue to live in the community.

In Northern Ireland there are over 214,000 carers – that’s 1 in 8 of the population.

It is also estimated that at some stage during their lifetime, 6 out of 10 people will take up a caring role.

Are you a carer?

A carer is usually someone who provides help and support to a family member or friend who cannot manage without their help.

Individual circumstances mean that no two carers are the same, or have identical needs.

Carers can be –

  • Adults caring for other adults.
  • Parents caring for an ill or disabled child.
  • A young person caring for another family member.

(Informal carers are not the same as formal or employed carers who provide a service on a paid basis.)

Carers do not have to –

  • Live with the person they care for.
  • Be the only carer.
  • Be related to the person they care for.
  • Be receiving a Carer’s Allowance.

The person being cared for can be of any age and have one or a combination of the following conditions:

  • Be frail.
  • Have a physical or sensory disability.
  • Have a mental health illness.
  • Have a learning disability.
  • Have a physical health condition.

Carers help out in a number of ways, providing both practical and emotional support and assistance with things such as:

Dressing. Bathing. Shopping.
Cooking. Cleaning. Getting out and about.
Collecting medication. Financial matters. Sorting out benefits.
GP or hospital appointments. Bills and other paperwork. Taking medication.

Some carers help by watching out for someone to try and make sure that they do not harm themselves, or that they get more help if things get worse.

For some carers, such as those caring for people with mental health illness or learning disabilities, caring may be about simply ‘being there’ to reassure or encourage the person.

People often don’t realise how much they are caring for someone and that they can get support in their caring role.

If you are a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your needs.


Further Information

nidirect – Caring for someone

nidirect – Caring for someone with dementia

nidirect – Caring for a child with disabilities

Carers NI

Carers Trust


Action for Children

Barnardo’s Northern Ireland

Citizens Advice Northern Ireland

Department of Health

Family Support NI