Worn out unpaid carers uncertain services they relied on will continue post-pandemic

Figures released for Carers Week 2021 reveal that fewer than one in five unpaid carers are confident the support they received with caring roles will continue following the easing of restrictions.

Today (7 June 2021) marks the start of Carers Week (7 to 13 June 2021) has found that carers lost, on average, 25 hours of support per month that they previously had from services or family and friends prior to the pandemic. 

Furthermore, over a third (35 per cent) of unpaid carers feel unable to manage their caring roles.

SACRIFICE

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, commenting on behalf of Carers Week charities says: “Carers have sacrificed their physical and mental health caring for loved ones over the course of this pandemic. They are exhausted having cared around the clock, and do not know how they can continue without a break. 

“Many are looking to support services to be able to take that time for themselves but are desperately worried that they will not continue in the future.

“Without the right support, the stress and challenges of the last year could lead to far more carers breaking down.” 

72 per cent of carers have not had any breaks from their caring role at all. Of those who got a break, a third (33 per cent) used the time to complete practical tasks or housework, and a quarter (26 per cent) to attend their own medical appointments.

Three quarters (74 per cent) reported being exhausted as a result of caring during the pandemic.

ESSENTIAL

“It is essential that the government ensures that carers can take breaks and that those providing upwards of 50 hours of care each week get a funded break,” continues Helen.

“Unpaid carers need hope and support in the future and they must be at the heart of the government’s plans for social care reform.”

The six charities supporting Carers Week ­– Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness – are calling on the UK Government to provide £1.2 billion funding for unpaid carers’ breaks, so that those providing upwards of 50 hours of care are able to take time off for their own health and wellbeing.

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