Every carer's situation is unique. A carer offers support to someone who needs it, whether that's a teenager supporting a parent with mental health issues, or a husband helping his wife live from day to day with dementia. Unpaid carers are individuals who care for family or friends without getting a paid income in addition to income they may (or may not) have through the benefits system.

Scotland has a legal definition of a carer: Someone who provides substantial amounts of care on a regular basis for either an adult or a child, where that adult or child receives, or is eligible to receive, support services under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 (section 12AA) or the Children's (Scotland) Act 1995 (Section 24).

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