Informal carers are enormously involved in giving care to their disabled or needy relatives or acquaintances. To care can go along with positive private and health effects. Nevertheless it is proven that informal carers are under a greater risk to suffer from health problems, social isolation and restrictions in professional life. The primary care team can take on a key role by providing support to informal carers. To identify those carers and their burden is essential. Quantitative and qualitative studies carried out in English-language countries reveal that there are different barriers to do so. Recommendations to overcome those barriers were given, among others, by the "Royal College of General Practitioners" (UK) together with "The Princess Trust for Carers". These recommendations are mostly transferable to the health care setting in Germany. Barriers and recommendations are specified in this article in order to help to improve the identification of informal carers and the awareness of their burden in family practices. © Deutscher Ärzte-Verlag.