Carers Week: Lack of support is damaging life chances of UK’s carers

Millions of people in the UK who care for the sick, elderly or disabled family members or friends are missing out on life chances due to lack of support and awareness.

Three-quarters of carers (74 per cent) with some of the most intensive caring responsibilities say their community does not understand or value their caring role, resulting in high numbers of them struggling to balance other areas of their lives with caring.

In addition, full time carers are twice as likely to be in bad health as non-carers

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The study conducted by the charity Carers UK revealed the lack of empathy is also having a negative effect on the relationships and finances of unpaid carers.

Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “Even a small amount of support can have a major impact on a carer’s life. A flexible appointment, schools and colleges raising awareness of caring responsibilities and employers having policies in place to support carers can make a massive difference.

“We’d like to see workplaces, the government and education services taking measures to ensure they are doing all they can to support carers in their community.”

In a study of more than 6,000 carers half had let a health problem go untreated or seen their mental health get worse.

  • 51% of carers have let a health problem go untreated
  • 47% have struggled financially
  • 66% have given up work or reduced their hours to care

The research reveals that when carers are supported by their community, they do not need to cope with so many barriers to having a life outside their caring role.

Carers Week is an annual campaign run from 6th-12th of June, which ecognises the UK’s carers and highlight the challenges they face. It is run by a group of charities working together: Carers UK, Carers Trust, Age UK, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association and MS Society.



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