Family, friends and carers

As a family member, friend or carer for someone with sight loss, it can be hard to know where to start. 

We can help you understand the support, information and products that are available to help you and the person you support.

Parents and carers of blind or partially sighted children

We offer help and support for parents, talk about the first steps you can take after your child has a diagnosis, and provide support to help make every day life as easy as possible. We have advice to help you understand your child's eye condition - your child's vision impairment, the effect it may have, and the professionals to help. Our information on mobility and habilitation, talks about supporting your child to learn to move independently and develop living skills. We offer local support for families through our associate charity Action for Blind People - contact your local Children, Young People and Families Support Co-ordinator.

Activities and the events for children, young people and families are listed in our Activities and Events section.

Family, friends and carers of blind or partially sighted people

A carer is someone who regularly provides substantial unpaid care to friend, relative or partner to help them stay living at home. Caring for someone can be a lonely and frustrating job at times. We can put you in contact with sources of help and support. RNIB has teamed up with Carers UK - a charity set up to help the millions of people who care for family or friends. Joining Carers UK is free, and gives carers access to a host of support, information and advice about caring for your loved one. This includes help and advice with benefits, work and practical support. You can find out more on the Carers UK website.

Volunteers and community care

If you care for someone with sight problems who needs some assistance in their home, you may be able to get advice and support from an RNIB volunteer. You may also be able to get help from your local council, in the form of community care.

Residential homes

RNIB runs three residential homes offering permanent and short-term accommodation with care for blind, partially sighted and deafblind older people. We also offer advice on finding a care home.

Benefits and rights

There are benefits for carers available to help you and the person you care for. You might also want to read up on the rights and benefits available to people with sight loss.

Emotional support for family, friends and carers

It's not unusual to have strong feelings about your role as a family member, carer or friend of someone with sight loss. RNIB can offer emotional support services, information and counselling to people who are experiencing emotional difficulties.

Register with the RNIB website and you can post messages on our Family, Carers and Friends discussion forum. If you're caring for someone, ask for advice and share tips with fellow carers.

If you have a particular question or are looking for further information, contact our Helpline by email to or call 0303 123 9999.

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Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most. Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.

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