Skip to Content

Latest news

For media enquiries, please contact Carers UK’s press office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 020 7378 4972 / 07534 487 027 (out of hours)

Case studies, good practice examples and spokespeople are available on request.

Carers Week highlights the physical and mental strain felt by unpaid carers

07 June 2018

The physical and mental strain of caring “jeopardising” unpaid carers’ ability to care in the future, warn national charities

 

Lack of sleep, performing care tasks and the impact on their finances named as top stressors by unpaid carers.

Eight national charities have come together to call for urgent support for unpaid carers to be Healthy and Connected as new research released at the start of Carers Week reveals the toll that caring can take on many carers’ own health and wellbeing.

 

Released for Carers Week 11th – 17th June, the research reveals:

Almost three quarters (72%) of carers in the UK said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring, while well over half (61%) said their physical health had worsened.

Unless more support is provided,national charities are warning that the UK’s carers won’t be healthy enough to care for loved ones in the future.

Carers Week 2018 research

 

Carers worry about coping in the future

 

The research shows: 

Over half of carers in the UK said they expect their physical (58%) and mental (57%) health and well-being to get worse in the next two years. 

Two in five (43%) carers said that they expect to be able to provide less care or no care in the future because of poor physical health.  One third of carers (35%) felt that poor mental health would mean they will be able to provide less or no 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 (54% of over 65s and 59% of over 75s).

 

Main stressors for carers

 

Carers were most likely to say that the impact of stress and anxiety on their own health was their main worry about the impact of caring on their own health and wellbeing. 

Carers named the main stressors contributing most to their stress and anxiety as not getting enough sleep, providing hands on care for the person they care for, and managing financially.

 

You can read the full report here. 

 

Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK, on behalf of Carers Week, said:

“This new research is a stark reminder that the enormous contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers must not be taken for granted. Without the unpaid care provided every year by family and friends, our health and care services would collapse. Yet the physical and mental strain of caring, without enough support, is jeopardising carers’ ability to care in the future.

Caring for a loved one too often means carers neglect their own mental and physical health; finding the time and space to be healthy, get enough sleep  and maintain relationships with others are all huge challenges identified by carers.  Being left unprepared for carrying out care tasks and  battling with a complex health, benefits and care system are piling yet more stress onto carers.

We can all act to ensure carers know about and access help and support as early as possible in their caring journey.

There is a key role for Government too. The forthcoming Green Paper on social care funding provides a must take opportunity for the Government to put in pace sustainable funding for social care and to improve the support available for carers.”

 

This year the Carers Week charities are calling on communities, health care professionals, employers, and the wider public to support carers to get connected to health and wellbeing services and support. The week-long celebration of the enormous contribution that unpaid carers make to our communities is also a time of intensive local activity, with hundreds of awareness-raising events taking place right across the UK.

 

Carers Week 2018 is made possible by Carers UK working together with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care, and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition. 

 

Cookery for Carers with Portsmouth City Council

09 April 2018

Many of us struggle to sustain a healthy diet, but the added responsibility of caring for a loved one can make food choices an afterthought. This year, nearly half of carers responding to our State of Caring survey said they struggle to maintain a balanced diet whilst 6 in 10 said their physical health had worsened since they started caring.

 Carers Week Eating Well 650

Combating Loneliness in the Workplace

03 April 2018

Caring for the people we love can feel like the most natural thing in the world. Yet, financial, emotional, and even physical demands have the power to create isolation – especially if your caring obligations are less understood in the workplace. On top of this, many people do not identify themselves as carers. 

CarersWeek2017 700

James' story highlights the challenges of work and care

12 June 2017

James, 28, became a carer literally overnight. His dad, Owen, had a fall and was paralysed below the neck. As an only child James' life changed.

"Dad was an imposing man both in terms of his character and physical appearance. He was always sure of himself and decisive. Growing up, I have a lot of memories of visiting him at work, where he was in charge of health and safety on London's largest building sites.

Sue explains the difference a carer friendly GP can make

12 June 2017

Former carer, Sue, tells us how a GP surgery supported her when she was caring for her mum, who had Alzheimer's disease.

"I was with mum when she got her diagnosis and it was a shock, even though I had suspected for a few years that she wasn't well. I didn't know what to do or what would happen in the future. My mum's GP didn't just give us her diagnosis and send us on our way; he was very helpful. He printed off information on Alzheimer's and identified me as a carer, pointing me to support.

Not enough value placed on unpaid care, says general public

09 June 2017

The UK public does not feel that unpaid carers are sufficiently valued, according to a new online public poll published today (12 June 2017) for the start of Carers Week.

More than 7 in 10 (74%) of the UK public feel carers are not sufficiently valued by society for the support they provide and this figure rises to just over eight in ten (83%) of those who have previous experience of caring themselves. The unpaid care provided by the UK's carers has been estimated to be worth £132 billion a year.

Charities join forces to Build Carer Friendly Communities

24 February 2017

Eight major charities have combined forces to get communities across the UK to register events and pledge support in the run-up to Carers Week 2017 (12-18 June). 

David Mowat MP, Minister for Community Health and Care, joined senior representatives from the Carers Week charities, NHS, local government and business to launch community engagement for Carers Week encouraging local organisations, the public and carers to get involved in the week and pledge their support to build Carer Friendly Communities.

Inspiring Carers UK volunteer Jacqui talks about her Carers Week experience

16 June 2016

Inspiring Carers UK volunteer, Jacqui, shares with us her great Carers Week experience.

"Living in Rutland, a rural part of the country, it has always been difficult to find those who do not know that they are carers. So using the theme ‘building carer friendly communities’ I decided that this year I would approach 4 GP’s surgeries and a local chemist and asked if I could have a stall in their venues. All those approached said “yes”.

Caitlin’s Wish: Raising awareness for young carers

09 June 2016

Victoria Lewin writes about the number of hiddden young carers in the UK.

The 2011 UK census stated that there were 200,000 young carers in the UK, but subsequent research shows that this figure is inaccurate – indeed it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Professor Saul Becker has pioneered young carers research since the 1990s, and in 2010 he worked on research with the BBC, which showed that there are approximately 700,000 children providing the highest level of care, including personal care, in the UK today.

Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • independent age
  • MacMillan Logo
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • Nutricia

 

Back to top