A young man with Down syndrome and a woman are in a kitchen preparing pizza together

Are you an unpaid carer?

Are you one of the thousands of people in Reading who is looking after someone who is ill, frail or disabled?

Most carers do not recognise that the help they give to their mum, dad, husband, wife, partner, child, grandparent, sibling, friend or neighbour means that they are an unpaid carer.

Caring for someone can happen suddenly through illness or an accident or it can creep up on you as someone’s condition worsens or they become frailer with age. Or you may be caring for someone who has mental ill-health or substance misuse problems.

Carers come from all walks of life and provide unpaid support to a partner, parent, child, relative, friend or neighbour. Without this help the health and wellbeing of the person they care for may deteriorate further.

Some carers live with the person they care for and may spend many hours each day caring.  Others may drop in on someone to make sure everything is okay, administer medication, pick up prescriptions or run errands for them. 

You are probably a carer if you are doing some or all of the following:

  • Helping someone to wash, dress and eat 
  • Doing their shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry 
  • Providing emotional support such as listening or problem solving
  • Keeping them company 
  • Managing their finances 
  • Supervising them to keep them safe 
  • Taking them to regular appointments. 

Taking on a caring role can be rewarding but you may find your life changes in all sorts of ways.

You may find it difficult to fulfil work or education commitments or to maintain relationships. You may feel you are losing control over your life because someone else always needs you.

You may start to feel isolated or guilty. Families affected by illness or disability are facing tough times at the moment so don’t struggle on alone. 

However you come to a caring role it may be time to ask for help.

Information, advice and support services for family carers in Reading and West Berkshire are provided by the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership. The partnership consists of Reading Mencap,  Age UK Berkshire,Age UK Reading and  CommuniCare

The Reading & West Berkshire Carers Partnership helps carers:

  • Get support to help them in their caring role 
  • Find local services and sources of help 
  • Look after their health and wellbeing 
  • Connect with other carers 
  • Understand their rights 
  • Get a Carer’s Assessment (for Reading-based carers)
  • Apply for a Carer’s Grant.

Who to contact and where to go for support: 

Reading Mencap: If you are caring for a child or adult with a learning disability or a learning disability and autism, please contact Reading Mencap for information and advice We can provide a Carer’s Assessment if you are caring for someone over the age of 18. Call 0118 966 2518 or email carers@readingmencap.org.uk. To make a referral to Reading Mencap, please download our referral form.

Age UK Reading: If you are caring for an adult over the age of 50 in Reading, please contact Age UK Reading for information, advice and Carers’ Assessments. 
Call 07716 418 941 or email carers@ageukreading.org.uk

Age UK Berkshire: If you are caring for an adult over the age of 50 who lives in West Berkshire, please contact Age UK Berkshire.  Call 0118 959 4242 or email info@ageukberkshire.org.uk 

CommuniCareis supporting all other carers in Reading and West Berkshire (if you are caring for someone over the age of 18 and under the age of 50 and live in Reading. CommuniCare will also offer Carers’ Assessments). 
Call 0118 926 3941 or email office@communicare.org.uk