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Need a break

One in four carers in our 2017 State of Caring Report told us they hadn't had a day off caring in more than five years.

We feel it's time to do something about carers' access to funding and services for breaks.

What can we do?

More and more of us are stepping in to provide care and support to loved ones and doing so for more hours every week. Without access to breaks, carers can quickly reach breaking point, unable to look after our own health, keep up relationships with friends and family or have the time we need to ourselves. 

4 in 10 (40%) carers responding to our State of Caring survey have not had a break in over a year. Carers who had not had a break in a year or more reported a deterioration in their health, both mentally (73%) and physically (65%). 

They told us that they aren’t accessing breaks because of:

  • The cost of paying for a break
  • Not being able to find appropriate support on offer
  • The unwillingness of the people we care for to accept support from others
  • Lack of trust in the quality of care available.

Increasing funding for carers’ breaks is a key part of the change needed to support people to care without putting their own lives on hold. This must be part of addressing the wider crisis in funding of social care that has led to support being cut for many and growing levels of unmet care and support needs.

Given the enormous value of unpaid care provided by the UK’s 6.5 million carers, worth £132 billion each year – having some time away from caring to spend time with a partner, get to a medical appointment or just get a full night’s sleep surely isn’t too much to ask.

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