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Information for carers

Many family members and friends of someone with MS may find that they are taking on some aspect of care. 

The Carer's Trust defines a carer as "anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who ... cannot cope without their support".  This may include:

  • personal care - such as helping someone get washed and dressed in the morning or helping them with their medication
  • help with day to day tasks - such as cooking, laundry or making sure bills are paid
  • helping someone get around - driving people or helping someone with poor mobility

Being a carer can take up a significant amount of time as well as being physically and mentally demanding. You may not know anyone else who plays a similar supporting role and may not think of yourself as a carer. It can be important to get the right support for yourself as well as assisting the person you care for to access all the support they need.

Carer's assessment

If you are caring for someone you can ask your local adult care services to assess your needs.  If you meet the criteria, social services may be able to help with equipment that makes caring easier, temporary carers to cover whilst you have a short break, and contact with local support groups.

More on a carer's assessment on the NHS Choices website

Carer's allowance

If you are over 16, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone and earn no more than £110 a week, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance

More on a Carer’s Allowance on the website

Carer charities

There are support groups available for people who are in a caring role. They provide information and support for people in a whole range of caring situations. Contact with them can help you in your own individual situation.

Carers Trust

Provides information, support and practical help to carers through more than 100 independently-managed Carers Centres. This charity was formed in April 2012 from the merger of Crossroads Care and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Carers UK

Provides information and advice about caring and practical and emotional support for carers. Also campaigns to make life better for carers.

Other sources of information

Your guide to care and support

A section within the NHS Choices website with information on well-being for carers, claiming benefits, advice for young carers and contact details of local authorities

Multiple sclerosis: friends and family experiences

A collection of videos on the Health Talk website in which family members and friends of people with MS talk about their experiences and the effect the condition has on their lives

Carers' health and wellbeing  

Information on a variety of topics provided by Care Information Scotland

The Money Advice Service

The free and impartial advice service on managing your money and other financial issues includes information on support for carers.

Carers Week

An annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, to recognise the contribution made by carers and to highlight challenges that carers can face.


Courses for carers

Self Management UK - Improving carers' health and wellbeing

EPP Cymru (Wales) - Looking After Me

Care Information Scotland - Training for carers

Last updated: October 2017
Last reviewed: September 2017
This page will be reviewed within three years

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