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Support for young adult carers

Caring comes in all shapes and sizes. We might be doing their laundry, cooking meals, or sorting the weekly food shop. Perhaps we are meeting their physical care needs, such as helping them bathe, get dressed, or use the bathroom. Caring can also look like needing to remind someone to take their medication, driving them to regular hospital appointments, or doing their life admin. There is no right or wrong way to be a carer.

A group of young adults chatting

The term young adult carer is used to refer to someone aged 18 – 25 who is looking after a friend or family member due to ill physical or mental health, a disability, or other reasons such as addiction. If this describes you, the guides and support tools below can help you to navigate the often complex and challenging role of being a young adult, caring for a friend or family member. 

Or, perhaps, we aren’t yet caring for someone but can see a caring role coming our way and want to be prepared. If so, try our top tips for planning ahead.

If you are reading this and are under the age of 18, head to our young carers page.

When we look after someone there can be a number of larger responsibilities that fall on our shoulders. Managing finances, organising respite and paid carers, or just trying to find out what support is available. Below is a section of guides that can help get us started. For those of us who aren’t new to caring, we might find out about some benefits or support options we didn’t know existed.

A young women sitting at her laptop

While looking after a family member or friend can have its highs and lows for everyone, it can feel especially challenging for those of us who are young adult carers. Whether our caring role is something we’ve been doing for a long time or not, the chances are that taking care of someone is not how we had hoped to spend our early years of adulthood. We might be watching our seemingly carefree friends going out, heading off to university, or starting new jobs. While we find ourselves focussing on caring for a friend or family member.

Even if we are feeling good right now, our mental health is something we should always keep in mind and work to protect. Below are some top tips for looking after ourselves, and links to support services who can help if we find ourselves struggling. The most important thing is to reach out when we need to, and not to try to handle it alone.

Young man playing video games
A young man and women on a walk

While looking after someone can feel all consuming it is vital we still find time for other things such as hobbies, relationships, getting outside, and connecting with friends. Having a strong sense of self and life fulfilment has a big impact on our resilience. This is what keeps us mentally and physically healthy, and able to continue with providing care.

Find local clubs and groups near you

The practical stuff
Looking after our mental health

For those of us looking to head off to university, already there, or studying remotely so we can stay with the person we look after - caring and studying can feel overwhelming.

Young adult carers from our community have shared their tips on managing the balance of getting the most from our university experience while still caring for someone. 


Our lives outside of caring
Caring and university
Caring and work

Whether we are about to start our first job, shifting to our first career type role, or have been working for a while and finding the balance hard, seeing how other carers have handled the world of work can be helpful. 


A young women working at her desk

No matter what our caring experience is, seeing how other carers navigate the role can help us to feel less alone. These stories from young adult carers in our community cover the highs and lows of caring, and might even give us a few tips to try in our own lives.


A young man pushing an older women in a wheelchair
Stories from other young adult carers
How can Mobilise support me as a young adult carer?
Two young women sitting in chairs talking

Mobilise is for anyone looking after a friend or family member who is aged 18 or over. We have a range of support services and content available to everyone. Together, we want to help those that care learn to thrive.

They support carers from 18 to 65+ no one problem is too big or too small. Carers all have different backgrounds and people we care for, but we all have 1 thing in common which is what helps young people like myself mix with all the other carers within Mobilise. They're friendly, helpful and sometimes cheeky but I have not a bad word to say about them.


- Young adult carer in the Mobilise Community

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