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This Loneliness Awareness Week, #LetsTalkLoneliness with these ten facts about carers and their experiences of loneliness and social isolation:

  • Carers are seven times more likely than the general population to say they are always or often lonely.[1]
  • Overall, 8 out of 10 carers (81%) have felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one and this number rises to 86% for carers providing more than 50 hours of care a week.[2]
  • The number of carers reporting they have felt lonely or isolated is highest for those who are caring for a disabled child (93%) and for young carers who are aged under 24 (89%).[3]
  • 7 in 10 working carers (71%) have felt lonely or isolated in the workplace as a result of their caring responsibilities.[4]
  • More than half (57%) of carers have lost touch with friends or family as a result of caring[5] and 6 in 10 (61%) said they were worried about the impact of caring on their relationships with friends and family.[6]
  • Around half (49%) of carers say they have experienced difficulties in their relationship with their partner due to their caring role.
  • Nearly two thirds of carers (65%) feel lonelier and more isolated than before the pandemic and this rises to 7 in 10 (70%) for those who are parent carers.[7]
  • Carers who said they felt lonely or socially isolated are almost twice as likely to report a worsening of their physical and mental health as a result of a caring role than those who did not feel lonely.[8]
  • Carers who have reached breaking point as a result of caring are twice as likely to say that they are socially isolated because they are unable to leave the house and are also more likely to have experienced depression as a result of caring.[9]
  • Almost half (48%) of carers said they did not have time to spend on social activities while 31% said they could not afford to participate in social activities, both of which significantly contributed to their feelings of loneliness or social isolation.[10] 

There‚Äôs something that everyone can do to make life less lonely for carers. Here are 7 ways to help make sure carers and their families are no longer 7 times more lonely than non-carers:

  • Recognise carers within your families and friends, reach out and connect with them.
  • Employers can recognise and support carers within the workplace and become carer friendly, taking a lead from good practice in Employers for Carers.
  • National and local services can help to identify carers and ensure they and the person they care for get support, especially breaks.
  • National and local services can create opportunities to reduce loneliness e.g. increasing wellbeing and social opportunities such as physical activity classes for carers, helping carers to become digitally connected, etc.
  • Government can invest in more care services and support, especially breaks, so that carers have the support they need to keep up connections.
  • Government can ensure that rights, entitlements and processes provide carers with the better incomes and better support overall to reduce loneliness.
  • Society in general can talk and understand more about caring and make life less lonely for carers.

 

[1] Carers UK (2019) Facts About Carers
[2] Carers UK (2019) Facts About Carers
[3] Carers UK (2017) The World Shrinks: Carer Loneliness
[4] Carers UK (2015) Caring and Isolation in the Workplace
[5] Carers UK (2015) Alone and Caring
[6] Carers UK (2019) Facts About Carers
[7] Carers UK (2021) Breaks or Breakdown, Carers Week 2021 Report
[8] Carers UK (2017) The World Shrinks: Carer Loneliness
[9] Carers UK (2015) Alone and Caring
[10] Carers UK (2017) The World Shrinks (Carer Loneliness)
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