New research for Carers Week 2014 suggests that the nation‟s carers are struggling behind closed doors without adequate help or advice:
Only 1 in 3 (33%) carers polled saying they received enough support to do the role well. i This fell to a shocking 1 in 4 (27%) amongst women who were caring.
When asked what would make it possible for them to do their caring role well, the top choice from 7 in 10 (69%) carers was a to be know exactly what help they could get, right from the start.
The Carers Week charities say that „hidden carers‟ – families often caring round the clock without help or advice – must be a priority for the NHS and social care services. Carers‟ also stated that financial support as they face additional costs from caring and often reduced earnings from giving up paid work, and support from their GPs would help them do their role well. 1
Speaking on behalf of the nine charities behind Carers Week 2014, Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: “Without the right support caring can quickly lead to crisis and we hear from too many carers struggling under the emotional, physical and financial strain of caring The reality is that all of us, at some point in our lives, will either be carers or need the help of carers. This survey is a wake-up call, clearly and alarmingly showing that as a society we need a much wider understanding of the realities of caring.”
Across the UK today 6.5 million - 1 in 8 adults – are caring for a loved one who is older, seriously ill or disabled. With an ageing population and people able to live longer with disability and illness, this number is rising fast and in just over 20 years the numbers caring for family and friends is set to reach 9 million.
Findings of the Carers Week/You Gov poll also show that adults of all ages drastically underestimate the issue.
Only a tiny fraction (9%) of the nation correctly stating the true scale of unpaid, family careii and most adults did not think caring will happen to them. Less than a third of adults who are currently not carers (29%) believe it likely they will become carers in the future, the survey found. iii
Case studies and spokespeople from all supporting charities available on request. 1 67% of carers said „Financial support to help cover the costs of caring‟ would help them with their caring role, and 64% said „Support from the local GP practice.‟
Contact: Maggie Stratton: Maggie.firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 378 4936 or Steve McIntosh 0207 378 4937 Out of hours: 07875 724088/ 07811 344383
Notes for Editors
Carers Week 2014 runs from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June UK-wide. Further findings about the reality of caring today will be released through the week of campaigning.
Carers Week is an annual UK-wide awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK‟s 6.5 million carers This year the campaign focuses on the Carers Week Quest – the greatest ever drive to reach out to the UK‟s carers.
Carers Week Quest 2014 is calling on individuals and organisations across the UK to reach carers in their local communities who are missing out on vital support and services. Over 12,000 local events are planned.
Carers Week is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, Skills for Care and the Stroke Association and support from Sainsbury’s.
To find out more about the Carers Week Quest and to discover events in your local area visit www.carersweek.org
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2393 UK adults aged 18+, of which 334 identified themselves as carers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th to 20th May 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
i When asked how likely, if at all, they were to become a carer in the future 5% said very likely and 24% said fairly likely, 30% said not very likely and 17% not at all likely. 24% did not know.
ii Respondents were asked to identify the proportion of UK adults they think currently provide unpaid care. 9% correctly identified 1 in 8 are caring.. A fifth of UK adults (19%) – the highest selected option - thought 1in 25 UK adults currently provide unpaid care.