About Carers

Who is a carer?

A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid care and support to a family member, friend, partner or neighbour whose health and well-being would suffer without their help. This could be due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health issue or addiction or substance misuse problems.  

Anyone can be a carer, from an 11 year old child with a brother with autism, to an 80 year old woman who cares for her husband who has Alzheimer’s. 3 in 5 people will become a carer at some point in their lives, possibly more than once.

Key Facts

  • Carers are unpaid and receive no payment for providing care.

  • A carer can be a person of any age, from children to the elderly.

  • A parent carer is a parent or guardian who provides care and support to their child due to disability, illness or complex care needs. Parent carers are likely to support their child for many months or years, and this can often extend to after some children have begun living independently.

  • A young carer is a person under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health problem or has a substance or addiction problem.

  • Some carers can care for more than one person and some are themselves are disabled, elderly or suffer from health problems.

  • Anyone can become a carer, at any time, due to a sudden event such as an accident, or through a gradual process when someone’s physical or mental health slowly deteriorates.

  • 3 in 5 people will become a carer at some point in their lives.

What do carers do?

  • Carers provide both physical and emotional support to vulnerable people.

  • Carers help with the issues of daily living.

  • Carers often take on the domestic tasks such as cleaning and cooking.

  • Carers are responsible for ensuring those who they care for are safe and well looked after which can include intimate care, supervision and administering of medication and feeding tubes, and safety supervision. Carers can also be responsible for ensuring those who they care for get to and from medical appointments.

  • Carers can be responsible for looking after the finances of the person they provide care to which includes bill paying.

  • Carers carry out a great deal of manual lifting and assisting with mobility.

The type and amount of support provided may vary considerably from carer to carer depending upon individual needs. Therefore is not possible to fully define the role of a carer. Caring roles can vary over time and can be difficult to predict from day to day. Each situation is different and the role will not be the same for everyone.

How many carers are there on the Isle of Man? 

The 2001 census revealed that out of a population of 78,266:

  • 4,265 people in the Isle of Man are carers. The true figure is more likely in excess of 10,000

  • 8,236 people living within the community are suffering from long term illness or disability

  • 23% of carers support someone for more than 50 hours a week

  • 30% of carers support someone aged over 75

  • 24% of carers are aged over 65

  • 66% of carers are aged between 30 and 64

  • There are 195 young carers although the true figure is probably in excess of 400

  • The number of carers will increase substantially over the next 30 years to an estimated true figure of 15,200

  • 69% of carers support a spouse or parent

  • 24% are supporting a child