Unpaid carers struggle to pay for essential items
Today is Carers’ Rights Day (24 November 2022) and the latest research from Carers UK reveals that unpaid carers across the country are extremely worried about the cost of living crisis which is having a damaging effect on their health and wellbeing.
Over 13,400 carers took part in the survey, giving us a snapshot of unpaid care in the UK.
"I can’t see how, as a family, we can cope with the anticipated costs, and the rises. It shows how money has a direct impact on people’s health."
Sarah, local unpaid carer
It comes with no surprise that the cost of living crisis is having a detrimental impact on unpaid carers across the UK. During a poll earlier in 2022, The Carers’ Centre found that three quarters (74%) of carers in Bath and North East Somerset were worried about the impact that the cost of living will have on them.
In recent months, The Carers’ Centre has seen an increase in calls to their Freephone Support Line from carers about financial concerns. The current climate is adding to what was already a desperate financial situation for many carers, especially those looking after a loved one ‘round the clock’ or balancing paid employment with caring responsibilities.
Those looking after young children, relatives and friends with serious illnesses or disabilities are asking for help to fund essential items like washing machines, toilet repair and items to support their children’s education that they cannot afford on their own.
Jacqui Orchard, The Carers’ Centre CEO says:
"We know that for a large percentage of carers we support at The Carers’ Centre, taking steps like cutting back on electricity, heating and water usage to save on their bills is simply not an option, as it could put the vulnerable person they look after at risk."
"The cost-of-living crisis has really affected me as a single parent who has had to stop work to look after my daughter."
Anonymous unpaid carer
Key findings from Carers UK, State of Caring report found that:
- Over three-quarters 77% of carers said that the rising cost of living is one of the main challenges they will face over the coming year*
- Nearly two-thirds 63% of carers said they were extremely worried about managing their monthly costs*
- Over a third of carers (36%) said that not knowing what services were available was a barrier to accessing support.
- A quarter 25% of carers said they were cutting back on essentials such as food or heating*
- Nearly all carers who were struggling to make ends meet (93%) agreed that the increase in the cost of living was having a negative impact on their mental and/or physical health.*
Responding to the Carers UK survey, Jacqui Orchard, The Carers’ Centre CEO, says:
"This comprehensive survey by Carers UK highlights the fact that unpaid carers across the country are under even more pressure than before due to the rising cost of living, with many unsure where to turn for advice and support. This is causing additional stress and worry and leaving more and more people experiencing financial hardship.
Whilst the government has taken some action to provide carers with additional support, this report emphasises that more must be done as a matter of urgency. We fully support Carers UK call for the government to take further action for unpaid carers, including launching a funded National Carers Strategy for England and a review and reform of carers’ benefits.
We want carers across the Bath and North East Somerset area to know that The Carers’ Centre is here for you. You are not alone, call our Freephone Support Line for advice or if you need to talk to someone about any challenges you may be facing during these testing times."
If you are looking after a partner, family member or friend and would like support, The Carers' Centre are here for you.
We can help you take a breath, explore your specific challenges with caring and find solutions in a free one-to-one support planning session.
Call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 1pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.