Background Family carers are critical to supporting older people to live well in their homes and demand for care at home is projected to increase dramatically into the future. The Irish state and health system, therefore, are dependent upon the supply of family care now and into the future. The health and well-being of older family carers, and carers providing care to older people in the community, is under-researched. Methods A combination of online and postal survey distribution achieved a convenience sample (N=1102) of carers from the membership and network reach of Ireland's largest family carer support and advocacy agency. Results Of those carers providing care to an older adult (n=341), 30% were aged over 64 and 28% reported mild to moderate carer burden. A further 36% reported moderate to severe burden. The average Zarit burden score for carers caring for an older adult was 44 (CI 42:45) and was 39 (CI 36:43) for family carers aged over 64. Among family carers of older adults, 72% reported diagnosis or treatment for physical illness and 42% reported diagnosis or treatment for mental illness. The most frequently cited source of worry for this group was their own health and wellbeing (73%) followed by lack of appropriate supports/services (68%). GPs were the most frequently cited source of support (64%) followed by a PHN (50%). Conclusion The study findings indicate that the lack of appropriate state supports and services for family carers is negatively impacting carer health and well-being. Family carers, including those providing care to older people and those who are themselves aged over 64, need to be consistently identified for intervention by health professionals, particularly GPs and PHNs.