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Carers: Guidance for people who provide unpaid care for friends and family

Keep up-to-date with the latest government guidance.

This guidance is for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Further information can be found at Carers UK.

Collecting prescriptions

Ensure your doctor and local pharmacy is aware that you are a carer and that you can collect prescriptions or have them delivered. 

Carer Support Service

We have a dedicated Carer Support Service (CRISP) which is free and available for all ages, all year round to anyone who looks after a loved one. The service provides ongoing support and information as well as offering access to events and a friendly community of other local unpaid carers.


Call: 01202 128787

If you're a young carer

Young carers are people under 18 who provide care for another person. This care can include practical or emotional support, and another person can be anyone within the same family, whether they are an adult or child.

Support and services

All young carers are entitled to have a young carers assessment. We can do this with you to help to work out what support you and or your family may need.

Being a young carer can affect people differently and the project has a range of support available, which includes:

  • someone to listen and support you outside of the situation at home, who can help work with others to get the support you may need for your family
  • linking you in with other support you may not already know about, for instance, in school or at college
  • activities where you can meet/talk to  other Young Carers while having a break from your responsibilities.

We are here to help and if you or a member of your family is a young carer or  think you are a young carer and  would like more information about young carers get in touch. 

For information including how to make a referral please visit our Young carers offer page.

Carers podcast

Dorset HealthCare have created a podcast to help support you and your wellbeing as an unpaid carer. The support will include discussing:

  • understanding what it means to be an unpaid carer
  • the challenges you may face as a carer during the pandemic 
  • five steps to wellbeing

Listen now

Useful numbers and contacts

Department of Work and Pensions

  • Carers Allowance 0345 608 4321
  • Attendance Allowance 0345 605 605.

Carers Direct Helpline (NHS Dorset)

If you need help with your caring role and want to talk to someone about what options are available to you.

Call: 0400 1231053 (open 8am-9m weekdays and 11am-4pm weekends)

Age UK

For older people, their families, friends and carers. Helpline open every day of the year, 8:00am – 7:00pm

Call: 0800 055 6112


The only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

Call: 0800 470 8090

Making a plan in case of emergency 

Please ensure you put in place a plan in case you cannot care for someone. There is government advice available on how to do this.

If you become too unwell to care for your loved one the Carer Support Service can provide an emergency back-up scheme, Carers in Crisis.

Call: 01202 128787