Renfrewshire Council

What a working unpaid carer is

What a working unpaid carer is, the impact of caring for someone, self-care and support for carers.

A working carer is an employee who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day-to-day life. The person that they care for may be impacted by disability, physical or mental ill health, substance misuse or frail.

This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.

This care can include:

  • emotional support
  • practical support, such as managing hospital appointments
  • help with household tasks or shopping
  • managing finances
  • personal care
  • medical care.

You may not realise that you are a carer. You could be:

  • sharing caring responsibilities for someone with your partner or other family members
  • travelling to provide care for a family member before or after work, or at weekends
  • caring for someone in your own home.

The impact of caring for someone

Caring can have an impact on someone's life such as:

  • getting a night's sleep
  • staying healthy
  • maintaining relationships with friends and family
  • holding down your job
  • having a life outside of caring.

Carers often face lots of challenges, including:

  • stress and anxiety, emotional ups and downs, or feeling isolated
  • physical strain
  • worrying about taking time off
  • lack of information or support, or knowing where support is available
  • not having anyone to turn to at work
  • performance issues at work or turning down promotional opportunities
  • not having a break from caring
  • not being able to juggle work and caring anymore
  • the stigma of being a carer.


The Carers Trust website has health and wellbeing advice for you and the person you care for about:

  • equipment, adaptations and telecare
  • pharmacies and medicines
  • relationships with your partner, family and friends
  • tackling loneliness
  • emergencies
  • guidance on coronavirus
  • taking care of yourself
  • when caring ends.

You can also find out about

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