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Nutrition

Nutrition is an important but often hidden issue for carers and their families, with 60% of carers worrying about the nutrition of the person they care for.

Carers UK has teamed up with nutrition company Nutricia to produce information for carers and to help provide better support for carers around nutritional problems and eating difficulties.


  • Carer's assessment

    Carer’s assessments are for adult carers of adults (over 18 years) who are disabled, ill or elderly.


  • Work focused interviews / work related activity

    Sometimes carers who are in receipt of Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance (in the Work Related Activity Group) may be asked to take part in work focused interviews and undertake work related activity.


  • Social relationships

    Caring can place a big strain on families. Carers sometimes say that friends and family disappear once caring begins. This can lead to isolation and resentment. In this article we examine what happens when your support networks fall away.


  • Electronic patient records

    Looking after someone can take up a lot of time, so anything that makes life easier can make a difference. Getting signed up to your GP online services could help.


  • The right to parental leave

    If you have at least one year's continuous service with your employer and are responsible for a child aged under 18 you are entitled to 18 weeks (unpaid) leave per child to look after your child


  • Paying for care and support in England FAQ

    On the Carers UK Adviceline we receive lots of questions about when the local council might help with the cost of care and support. This FAQ covers some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.


  • Grants and schemes

    Throughout the UK there are thousands of grants and schemes available to help people in need.


  • Time off in emergencies

    Employees have the right to take a 'reasonable' amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.


  • What is Carer's Allowance?

    Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible.


  • Mental capacity in England and Wales

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • TV Licence

    Some people are entitled to a free or discounted TV Licence.


  • Needs assessment

    Needs assessments are for adults (18 years of age or over) who may need help because of a disability, ill health or old age.


  • Life after caring

    The end of your caring role may take some time to adjust to. Having more time to yourself may give you the opportunity for a much needed rest, but it can also leave you feeling that you have a lot of time to fill.


  • Taking a break

    Caring for someone can be a full-time job so breaks are vital to your own wellbeing and quality of life.


  • Family relationships


  • Bereavement

    Losing someone close to you can be devastating. If you have been caring for that person, the loss can seem even greater. How you process your feelings about the death of the person you looked after is a very personal thing.


  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

    If you have a long term illness or disability – physical and/or mental – and you are aged between 16 and 64 years old then you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


  • You and your partner

    Most couples have a lot on their plate. Whether it's paying the bills or juggling work and family, it can be hard to find time for each other. But when disability or illness happens to one of you then things can get a whole lot harder.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in England and Wales

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.


  • Getting enough sleep

    Sleep is a vital part of our daily life and important for our physical and mental health. However, many carers often struggle to get a good night's sleep.


  • Learning and education

    Whether it is a short evening course or a degree, taking on a new learning activity can be of real value to carers.


  • Council tax / Rate Relief

    There are a number of ways in which you might be able to get help with your council tax bill.


  • Making complaints

    If you, or the person you are looking after, are having issues with the local council/trust, the NHS or a care service, you or they could make a complaint to try and resolve these issues.


  • Help with your pension


  • Mental capacity in Scotland

    The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • Caring for your back

    Most of us will suffer back pain at some stage of our lives. But as a carer, you're even more likely to be affected. Knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape.


  • If you want to start work or return to work

    At some point in your caring role you may decide you want to combine work with caring, or you may want to work if your caring role changes or ends


  • Fuel costs

    You or the person you are looking after may be entitled to certain payments to help with fuel bills.


  • End of life planning

    When someone is nearing the end of life they may want to consider and plan how they will be looked after at this time.


  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    If you are looking after a child with a health condition or disability who is under the age of 16 years then they may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This can help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child.


  • Residential care

    If the person you are looking after is no longer able to live independently at home because their care needs have increased, and for whatever reason you can no longer provide the care they need, residential care can be a sensible and realistic option.


  • Your GP

    Your GP (General Practitioner) and primary care team can provide you with invaluable support, advice and information.


  • Attendance Allowance

    Attendance Allowance is a state benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental. It is for people aged 65 and over.


  • Auto enrolment

    Auto enrolment is a policy set up by the government to ensure that as many employees as possible are placed into an occupational pension scheme.


  • Planning for emergencies

    As a carer you need to know that if an emergency happens, replacement care will get sorted out speedily and efficiently.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in Scotland

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.


  • If you are thinking of leaving work

    If you are thinking of leaving work it is important to consider the full implications it could have on your income, quality of life and future pension entitlements


  • Young carers and carers of children under 18

    Young carers and carers of children under 18 have different assessments to adult carers of adults.


  • Coming out of hospital

    Deciding to care or continue caring for someone who is
    coming out of hospital and who can no longer care for
    themselves in the same way as before can be very difficult.


  • Eating well for carers

    As a carer, eating a balanced diet is essential to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. A balanced diet will keep your body strong and give you enough energy to provide the best care for the person you are caring for and yourself.


  • Additional support in work

    As well as your statutory rights in work there might be additional support you can get to help you juggle work and care.


  • Benefits for carers who are working age

    If you are a carer of working age, there may be benefits you can claim in addition to (or instead of) Carer's Allowance.


  • Coping with stress and depression

    Stress and depression can affect anyone, but the pressure and expectations of caring can make carers particularly vulnerable.


  • Jointly App

    Developed by Carers UK, Jointly is an innovative mobile and online app that is designed by carers for carers.


  • Benefits for carers who are pension age

    Most carers who are pension age will be receiving a State Pension. There might be other benefits you can claim as a carer who is pension age.


  • Coping with guilt and resentment

    Caring for someone can be very rewarding and can bring you closer together, but it can also be challenging and sometimes upsetting.


  • Your right to request flexible working

    Flexible working might allow you to manage both your work and caring responsibilities.


  • Care Act FAQ

    Find out about the Care Act 2014 and what it means for you.


  • Help with health costs

    If you are on a low income, or receiving certain benefits or tax credits, you may be entitled to full or partial help towards NHS costs


  • Improving nutritional intake

    Find out how to improve the nutritional intake of the person you care for


  • Signs of a problem

    At different stages in our lives our nutritional needs can change. It is very common to take in less food when living with a medical condition, recovering from an illness or operation, or simply as a result of getting older.


  • Direct payments

    If you, or the person you are looking after, are assessed by the local council/trust as needing support, then you or they have a right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the support arranged by the local council/trust.


  • Equipment - and how to get it

    Equipment to help you care can be sourced privately or via the NHS or your local council.


  • Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

    If you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, the law - under the Equality Act 2010 - will protect you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities.


  • Benefit cap

    The benefit cap limits the total amount of benefit that can be paid to a non-working household


  • Flu jabs for carers

    The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from flu, and will prevent you being stopped from being able to care.


  • Rights charter

    In this section we provide information on carers' rights. This will include information on the proposed Carers Rights Charter and links to relevant case law and legislation.


  • Dementia and nutrition

    Many people living with dementia may experience a change in their relationship with food, eating and drinking. As dementia progresses, the behavioural, emotional and physical changes that occur can make eating and drinking more difficult.


  • Housing Benefit

    If you are on a low income and living in rented accommodation, Housing Benefit can help with your rent.


  • Your statutory rights in work

    If you are juggling work with looking after someone, you are not alone - there are three million working carers in the UK.


  • State of Caring Conference


  • Bedroom Tax

    The Housing Benefit Size Criteria Rules have been in place since April 2013, and are commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax‘, or the 'spare room subsidy' as named by the government.


  • Finding care and support yourself

    The following information will be helpful if you want to find care and support for the person you are looking after.


  • Maryann's story

    Maryann Finnegan from Belfast has been caring for her mum for almost 16 years. With her growing family including twins aged 22 months, she often has her hands full at meal times.


  • Equipment and changes to your home

    Different types of equipment or changes to your home could help make your home safer, your life easier and provide independence for the person you are looking after.


  • Challenging a benefit decision

    If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (England, Wales & Scotland) or the Department for Communities (DfC) (Northern Ireland) make a decision about your benefits that you do not agree with you can challenge this decision.


  • Care standards and CQC

    Read about what standards you can expect from care organisations, and what you can do if you think these are not being met. (Note: England only)


  • Universal Credit

    Universal Credit (UC) is a means-tested benefit that is being gradually introduced.


  • Telecare and telehealth

    Telecare and telehealth services use technology to help disabled or elderly people to live independently in their own homes and give you – the carer – peace of mind that they are safe and well.


  • Tax Credits and Child Benefit

    If you are a carer who is in work and/or who has dependent children you might be entitled to claim Tax Credits and Child Benefit.


  • Carers Parliament

    The first annual Carers Parliament was held on 1 October 2012 at Holyrood.


  • Orig charter


  • Other legislation & policy


  • Help with debt

    When caring affects families, it’s all too easy for carers to face financial pressures and crisis as they are often forced to reduce hours, or give up work and face the extra costs of disability and ill-health.


  • Self-directed support


  • Integration


  • Everyday technology


  • Talk to us

    Every day we hear from people who need help with looking after a friend or family member.


  • Privacy and cookies policy

    Carers UK respects the privacy of visitors to our website and wants to protect any personal information that you give to us.


  • Terms and conditions

    These are the terms and conditions of Carers UK website and all other Carers UK websites.

Looking after your health

Caring for someone can be rewarding but it can also be very tiring, putting a lot of demand on your physical and emotional energy. When you are simply coping day to day and responding to the needs of others, it's easy to forget your own health needs. 

Research has found that caring for others can have a major impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. If you are a carer, you are more likely to be in poor health – both physically and mentally – than people without caring responsibilities.


  • Carer's assessment

    Carer’s assessments are for adult carers of adults (over 18 years) who are disabled, ill or elderly.


  • Work focused interviews / work related activity

    Sometimes carers who are in receipt of Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance (in the Work Related Activity Group) may be asked to take part in work focused interviews and undertake work related activity.


  • Social relationships

    Caring can place a big strain on families. Carers sometimes say that friends and family disappear once caring begins. This can lead to isolation and resentment. In this article we examine what happens when your support networks fall away.


  • Electronic patient records

    Looking after someone can take up a lot of time, so anything that makes life easier can make a difference. Getting signed up to your GP online services could help.


  • The right to parental leave

    If you have at least one year's continuous service with your employer and are responsible for a child aged under 18 you are entitled to 18 weeks (unpaid) leave per child to look after your child


  • Paying for care and support in England FAQ

    On the Carers UK Adviceline we receive lots of questions about when the local council might help with the cost of care and support. This FAQ covers some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.


  • Grants and schemes

    Throughout the UK there are thousands of grants and schemes available to help people in need.


  • Time off in emergencies

    Employees have the right to take a 'reasonable' amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.


  • What is Carer's Allowance?

    Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible.


  • Mental capacity in England and Wales

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • TV Licence

    Some people are entitled to a free or discounted TV Licence.


  • Needs assessment

    Needs assessments are for adults (18 years of age or over) who may need help because of a disability, ill health or old age.


  • Life after caring

    The end of your caring role may take some time to adjust to. Having more time to yourself may give you the opportunity for a much needed rest, but it can also leave you feeling that you have a lot of time to fill.


  • Taking a break

    Caring for someone can be a full-time job so breaks are vital to your own wellbeing and quality of life.


  • Family relationships


  • Bereavement

    Losing someone close to you can be devastating. If you have been caring for that person, the loss can seem even greater. How you process your feelings about the death of the person you looked after is a very personal thing.


  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

    If you have a long term illness or disability – physical and/or mental – and you are aged between 16 and 64 years old then you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


  • You and your partner

    Most couples have a lot on their plate. Whether it's paying the bills or juggling work and family, it can be hard to find time for each other. But when disability or illness happens to one of you then things can get a whole lot harder.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in England and Wales

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.


  • Getting enough sleep

    Sleep is a vital part of our daily life and important for our physical and mental health. However, many carers often struggle to get a good night's sleep.


  • Learning and education

    Whether it is a short evening course or a degree, taking on a new learning activity can be of real value to carers.


  • Council tax / Rate Relief

    There are a number of ways in which you might be able to get help with your council tax bill.


  • Making complaints

    If you, or the person you are looking after, are having issues with the local council/trust, the NHS or a care service, you or they could make a complaint to try and resolve these issues.


  • Help with your pension


  • Mental capacity in Scotland

    The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.


  • Caring for your back

    Most of us will suffer back pain at some stage of our lives. But as a carer, you're even more likely to be affected. Knowing how to protect your back can help to keep it in good shape.


  • If you want to start work or return to work

    At some point in your caring role you may decide you want to combine work with caring, or you may want to work if your caring role changes or ends


  • Fuel costs

    You or the person you are looking after may be entitled to certain payments to help with fuel bills.


  • End of life planning

    When someone is nearing the end of life they may want to consider and plan how they will be looked after at this time.


  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

    If you are looking after a child with a health condition or disability who is under the age of 16 years then they may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). This can help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child.


  • Residential care

    If the person you are looking after is no longer able to live independently at home because their care needs have increased, and for whatever reason you can no longer provide the care they need, residential care can be a sensible and realistic option.


  • Your GP

    Your GP (General Practitioner) and primary care team can provide you with invaluable support, advice and information.


  • Attendance Allowance

    Attendance Allowance is a state benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental. It is for people aged 65 and over.


  • Auto enrolment

    Auto enrolment is a policy set up by the government to ensure that as many employees as possible are placed into an occupational pension scheme.


  • Planning for emergencies

    As a carer you need to know that if an emergency happens, replacement care will get sorted out speedily and efficiently.


  • Different ways of managing someone’s affairs in Scotland

    There are different ways of managing someone’s affairs depending on whether the person you are looking after can currently make their own decisions or whether they are unable to make their own decisions.


  • If you are thinking of leaving work

    If you are thinking of leaving work it is important to consider the full implications it could have on your income, quality of life and future pension entitlements


  • Young carers and carers of children under 18

    Young carers and carers of children under 18 have different assessments to adult carers of adults.


  • Coming out of hospital

    Deciding to care or continue caring for someone who is
    coming out of hospital and who can no longer care for
    themselves in the same way as before can be very difficult.


  • Eating well for carers

    As a carer, eating a balanced diet is essential to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. A balanced diet will keep your body strong and give you enough energy to provide the best care for the person you are caring for and yourself.


  • Additional support in work

    As well as your statutory rights in work there might be additional support you can get to help you juggle work and care.


  • Benefits for carers who are working age

    If you are a carer of working age, there may be benefits you can claim in addition to (or instead of) Carer's Allowance.


  • Coping with stress and depression

    Stress and depression can affect anyone, but the pressure and expectations of caring can make carers particularly vulnerable.


  • Jointly App

    Developed by Carers UK, Jointly is an innovative mobile and online app that is designed by carers for carers.


  • Benefits for carers who are pension age

    Most carers who are pension age will be receiving a State Pension. There might be other benefits you can claim as a carer who is pension age.


  • Coping with guilt and resentment

    Caring for someone can be very rewarding and can bring you closer together, but it can also be challenging and sometimes upsetting.


  • Your right to request flexible working

    Flexible working might allow you to manage both your work and caring responsibilities.


  • Care Act FAQ

    Find out about the Care Act 2014 and what it means for you.


  • Help with health costs

    If you are on a low income, or receiving certain benefits or tax credits, you may be entitled to full or partial help towards NHS costs


  • Improving nutritional intake

    Find out how to improve the nutritional intake of the person you care for


  • Signs of a problem

    At different stages in our lives our nutritional needs can change. It is very common to take in less food when living with a medical condition, recovering from an illness or operation, or simply as a result of getting older.


  • Direct payments

    If you, or the person you are looking after, are assessed by the local council/trust as needing support, then you or they have a right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the support arranged by the local council/trust.


  • Equipment - and how to get it

    Equipment to help you care can be sourced privately or via the NHS or your local council.


  • Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

    If you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, the law - under the Equality Act 2010 - will protect you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities.


  • Benefit cap

    The benefit cap limits the total amount of benefit that can be paid to a non-working household


  • Flu jabs for carers

    The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from flu, and will prevent you being stopped from being able to care.


  • Rights charter

    In this section we provide information on carers' rights. This will include information on the proposed Carers Rights Charter and links to relevant case law and legislation.


  • Dementia and nutrition

    Many people living with dementia may experience a change in their relationship with food, eating and drinking. As dementia progresses, the behavioural, emotional and physical changes that occur can make eating and drinking more difficult.


  • Housing Benefit

    If you are on a low income and living in rented accommodation, Housing Benefit can help with your rent.


  • Your statutory rights in work

    If you are juggling work with looking after someone, you are not alone - there are three million working carers in the UK.


  • State of Caring Conference


  • Bedroom Tax

    The Housing Benefit Size Criteria Rules have been in place since April 2013, and are commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax‘, or the 'spare room subsidy' as named by the government.


  • Finding care and support yourself

    The following information will be helpful if you want to find care and support for the person you are looking after.


  • Maryann's story

    Maryann Finnegan from Belfast has been caring for her mum for almost 16 years. With her growing family including twins aged 22 months, she often has her hands full at meal times.


  • Equipment and changes to your home

    Different types of equipment or changes to your home could help make your home safer, your life easier and provide independence for the person you are looking after.


  • Challenging a benefit decision

    If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (England, Wales & Scotland) or the Department for Communities (DfC) (Northern Ireland) make a decision about your benefits that you do not agree with you can challenge this decision.


  • Care standards and CQC

    Read about what standards you can expect from care organisations, and what you can do if you think these are not being met. (Note: England only)


  • Universal Credit

    Universal Credit (UC) is a means-tested benefit that is being gradually introduced.


  • Telecare and telehealth

    Telecare and telehealth services use technology to help disabled or elderly people to live independently in their own homes and give you – the carer – peace of mind that they are safe and well.


  • Tax Credits and Child Benefit

    If you are a carer who is in work and/or who has dependent children you might be entitled to claim Tax Credits and Child Benefit.


  • Carers Parliament

    The first annual Carers Parliament was held on 1 October 2012 at Holyrood.


  • Orig charter


  • Other legislation & policy


  • Help with debt

    When caring affects families, it’s all too easy for carers to face financial pressures and crisis as they are often forced to reduce hours, or give up work and face the extra costs of disability and ill-health.


  • Self-directed support


  • Integration


  • Everyday technology


  • Talk to us

    Every day we hear from people who need help with looking after a friend or family member.


  • Privacy and cookies policy

    Carers UK respects the privacy of visitors to our website and wants to protect any personal information that you give to us.


  • Terms and conditions

    These are the terms and conditions of Carers UK website and all other Carers UK websites.

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