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Carers Week: we're calling on all communities to become more Carer Friendly

08 June 2015

Carers Week is taking place from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June. This year we're calling on all local communities to become more Carer Friendly so that you don't feel you have to cope alone.

New research for Carers Week 2015 shows that carers are experiencing a negative impact on their health and their ability to look after the person they care for, due to a variation in the support they get from their community and local services.

Two-thirds (65%) of carers providing more substantial care say that one or more of their local services is not ‘carer-friendly’. As a result:

  • 6 in 10 carers (61%) say this lack of support is having a negative impact on their health
  • Two-thirds (65%) of carers say the experience of local services that fail to consider or support them has made it more difficult to look after the person they are caring for

The six charities driving Carers Week 2015 are urging individuals, organisations and services to take action to improve the lives of carers by building carer-friendly communities. 

Carers’ experience of local services

Carers were asked which services in their local communities were the best at meeting their needs and which services failed to include them.

Carers rated the pharmacy as the most carer-friendly service they receive:

  • 67% of carers rated the pharmacy as carer–friendly
  • Only 8% of carers rated the pharmacy as not carer-friendly at all

Almost a quarter (23%) of all carers rated care and support services as the least carer-friendly services in their communities. Of those who said care services were the least carer-friendly:

  • 62% said this made caring more difficult
  • 49% said it has a financial impact on them
  • 77% said it affected their health

Carers reported a mixed experience of hospital services:

  • 36% of carers rated the hospital as carer-friendly
  • 24% of carers said their hospital was not carer-friendly and 13% of carers rated their hospital as the least carer friendly service

Of those who said hospitals were the least carer-friendly service overall, 73% said this made caring more difficult, 32% said it has a financial impact on them and 74% said it affected their health.

Carers also reported a mixed experience of their GP practice.Although it was the second most carer-friendly service overall, a significant number of carers rated it as the least carer-friendly service:

  • 57% of carers rated their GP practice as carer-friendly
  • However, 20% of carers said their GP practice was not carer friendly and 16% rated it as the least carer-friendly service

Of those who said GP practices were the least carer-friendly service overall, 68% said this made caring more difficult and 71% said it affected their health.

Almost half (45%) of carers said the high street excluded them as it was inaccessible. It was also rated the second least carer-friendly service (21%) behind care and support services. Despite this, almost a quarter (23%) of carers found the high street to be carer-friendly. 

Carers Week checklist

The Carers Week checklist sets out some of the things that you should be able to expect from your community. We hope it will help you to think about you community and what additional support might improve your life.

Get involved

There's still time to get involved this Carers Week. Click here to find out how you can sign up, make your pledge and help raise awareness online.

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