This week is Carers Week, an annual awareness campaign recognising the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers. Are you concerned about the physical and mental strain many go through?
The strain of caring is jeopardising unpaid carers’ ability to care in the future. Lack of sleep, performing care tasks and the impact on their finances are named as the top stressors by unpaid carers following research published by Carers UK this Monday.
Struggling carers: the stats
Sadly, the research found that more than half of carers in the UK said they expect their physical and mental health and wellbeing to get worse in the next two years. Two in five said they expect to provide less care or no care at all in the future due to poor physical health, while a third felt that poor mental health would stop them providing care in the future.
Older people, especially those over 75 years old, were most likely to say they expected to be able to provide less or no care in the future because of poor physical health.
These facts and figures chime a chord with the stories we’ve been hearing for our campaign, Care Needs Care Now, as well as the research we’ve been carrying out on Elderly Care.
Ask your questions
We’re pleased to say that today we’re holding an extra special Ask the Experts live on our Facebook page. Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy at Carers UK, will be joining us to answer your questions on being a carer.
You may recognise Emily – she was a guest author on Which? Conversation just last month.
If you’d like to ask Emily a question you can do so live from 7pm. Alternatively, simply drop it in the comments below and we’ll pass it on to the team.
Not on Facebook? No problem. We’ll deliver Emily’s answer for you back here.
Which? Elderly Care advice
As a part of our work on Which? Elderly Care to give practical information around all aspects of caring for a loved one, we are very mindful of the needs of carers themselves.
This is why we have articles about how to look after yourself and mental health concerns, including loneliness and depression, as well as guidance on carers’ rights at work, the benefits that are available for carers and how to arrange respite care.
Carers Week is all about celebrating the work that carers do as well as recognising the very real problems that come with the role.
What are your experiences like of caring for a loved one? Do you have concerns about the health and wellbeing of carers?