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Carers in Wales are suffering mental and physical ill-health as a result of caring

30 November 2018

Carers in Wales are suffering mental and physical ill-health as a result of caring.

The support provided by Wales’ unpaid carers is worth an estimated £8.1 billion a year, yet the cost of caring on those individuals who look after a family member or friend who are older or disabled can have dire consequences for their own health.

To mark Carers Rights Day 2018, Carers Wales has launched its State of Caring 2018 report and the new 2018 Looking after Someone guide.  The report shows that despite it being two years since carers were given new rights in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 carers are continuing to miss out on practical and emotional support.

From the report:

  • 75% said they have suffered mental ill health as a result of caring
  • 61% said that they have suffered physical ill health as a result of caring
  • 46% said they expect their quality of life to get worse in the next 12 months
  • Only 9% said they expect it to get better
  • 45% said they expect that they will be able to provide less or no care in the future because of poor or current physical ill-health
  • 37% of carers said they expect that they will be able to provide less or no care because of current or future mental ill health

Having the right information at the right time can make all the difference when you are looking after someone.  All carers in Wales under the Act are entitled to receive information and advice to help them care and a right to an assessment of their need for support.

Shockingly, 61% of respondents said they had not been offered or requested a carers needs assessment in the last 12 months. 

Claire Morgan, Director, Carers Wales said

“The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act gives carers the same right to support as the person they look after.  Two years on from the Act coming into force, carers lives have not improved.  In fact 45% of those who responded to the survey expect their quality of life to get worse over the next year.

If the Act is going to deliver on its promise to improve support for carers, Welsh Government must set out a clear mandate of what is expected of statutory services to identify carers and to provide carers with clear and accessible information on their rights and rights to financial support.  Carers can also make the most of our Thinking Ahead online tool which can help them prepare for the potential costs involved in caring for a loved one to help them plan ahead.

There needs to be an urgent and significant increase in funding for care and support services.  If carers are not identified and they are not given the financial and other practical information they need to look after their own health and well-being then it will have future financial implications on all services when caring becomes unsustainable and carers become ill or are pushed to breaking point”. 

This press release can be read in Welsh via the link at the bottom of the page.

-ENDS-

Media contact

Please contact Carers Wales on 029 2081 1370 (Mon-Fri)

Out of hours – 07377 723895

Notes to editors:

About the research

The figures in this report come from responses from Wales to Carers UK’s 2018 State if Caring survey.

A total of 542  carers and former carers responded to Carers UK’s annual State of Caring survey between March and May 2018.

Only responses from the 514 people currently providing care who completed the survey are included in this report as it is designed to provide a snapshot of caring in 2018.

Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week.

Of respondents to the State of Caring Survey 2018 who are currently caring:

  • 82% identify as female and 18% identify as male.
  • 29% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0-24, 4% are aged 25-34, 13% are aged 35-44, 31% are aged 45-54, 31% are aged 55-64, 15% are aged 65-74 and 5% are aged 75 and over. As fewer 1% of carers currently providing care who are under 18 took part in the survey, we have not explored results specifically for this group in the report.
  • 4% are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 23% also have childcare responsibilities for a non-disabled child under 18.
  • 31% are in paid work (45% full-time and 55% part-time).
  • 33% have been caring 15 years or more, 15% for between 10-14 years, 22% for 5-9 years, 24% for 1-4 years and just 3% have been caring for less than one year.
  • 56% care for 90 or more hours every week, while 17% care for 50-89 hours, 18% for 20-49 hours and 3% care for 1-19 hours a week.
  • Most (74%) care for one person, 20% care for two people, 4% for three people and 2% care for four or more people

Carers Rights Day 2018:  Caring For Your Future

Each year Caerrs Wales holds Carers Rights Day to bring organisations across Wales together to help carers in their local communities know about their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

Every year in Wales 123,000 people become carers.  It is often not something they have planned for.  Carers Rights Day is about reaching out to carers, identifying them to provide them with the information and support they need to care.

The Thinking Ahead Tool

Thinking Ahead is a free online resource that aims to prepare people for the potential costs involved in caring for a family member or loved one, and highlights key issues for carers in work.  It explains what sources of support are available and steps that can be taken to reduce the financial impact of caring.  It has been funded by the Money Advice Service.

About Carers Wales

Carers Wales is part of Carers UK.  It is a charity oled by carers, for carers – our mission is to make life better for carers.

  • We give expert advice, information and support
  • We connect carers so no-one has to care alone
  • We campaign together for lasting change
  • We innovate to find new ways to reach and support carers

For practical advice and information about caring www.carerswales.org or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Carers UK Forum is our online community of carers and is available to Carers UK members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year www.carersuk.org/forum

Carers Wales is part of Carers UK.  Carers UK is a charity registered in Englanbd and Wales (246329) and In Scotland (SCO39307) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (864097)

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