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 recognise that when a relative for friend starts to lose their sight it can impact on the people around them and not just the individual. This section has practical information and resources that can support, family members and friends in caring for someone with sight loss.  There is also information to help them to understand some of the challenges sight loss can bring.

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

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 [email protected] or call 0303 123 9999.

Guiding a Blind or Partially Sighted Person

Guiding someone with sight loss for the first time can be daunting. Take a look at our practical advice and information to help you feel confident about guiding someone with  a sight problem.

Join thousands of other affected by sight loss

RNIB Connect is a growing community that brings together people affected by sight loss including friends, families, campaigners and carers.


Discover RNIB's Online Shop for a large selection of products designed to support people living with sight loss.