There are approximately six million people in the UK who provide care and support for someone, usually a relative or partner, who, because of age, health or disability, are unable to cope alone. Although this form of unpaid care work saves the taxpayer an estimated £34 billion a year in health and social services, the carers themselves are often left in poverty, excluded from any active social life and often without paid employment. This publication draws on recent research that looks at the way caring impacts on the lives of different types of carers. Each different group is examined a case study is presented to illustrate the different obstacles faced. The groups covered include: young carers; parent carers; working-age carers (and work), and; carers over pension age.