A carer is 'a person of any age who provides unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage to live independently without the carer's help due to frailty, illness, disability or addiction' (Scottish Government, 2016).
Some carers care intensively while others care for shorter periods. Some carers are life-long carers, while others may care for shorter periods of time.
A carer does not need to be living with the person they care for to be considered a carer. Anybody can become a carer at any time in their life and sometimes for more than one person at a time.
Like many carers you might not see yourself as a carer, but as a parent, child, wife, husband, partner, friend or neighbour.
Information and support
If you want to find out more about the support that may be available you can contact your local social work office or Falkirk Carers Centre.
If you want to have an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or a Young Carer Statement (YCS) completed you can call the Carers Centre directly to ask for this. Alternatively, if the person you care for has a social care worker you can ask them to make a referral for you.
If you are a carer you may be able to apply for Carer's Allowance.
You may be able to access support (including support for the person you care for), for example short breaks from caring.
You can find more information in the Falkirk Short Breaks Services Statement and the Guide to Short Breaks.
Other kinds of help may be available to you and the person you care for. These could include care at home services, equipment for the person you care for, information on carer organisations/support services and welfare benefits advice.
More information about the Falkirk Carers Strategy and support that may be available locally can be found in the Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnerships, Carer Support Publications.
If you think you are a carer and would like to know what help you may be able to get, please call us or you can contact Falkirk Carers Centre on:
Carers (Scotland) Act 2016
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 became law on 01 April 2018. The Act places a duty on local authorities to offer carers an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or a Young Carer Statement (YCS).
Falkirk has published its Carer's Strategy, outlining plans for how the 2016 Act will be implemented over the 3 years from 2019-2022.
The Act also requires local authorities to provide support to carers who meet local eligibility criteria, to help them continue in their caring role if that is what they wish to do.
You can find out more information in the Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnerships Framework for Local Eligibility Criteria for Unpaid Carers.
Falkirk Carer's Centre is completing the Adult Carer Support Plan's and Young Carer Statements for carers in Falkirk. If funded support is needed, carers will be asked for permission to refer them to the local social work team.