unpaid carers

Whether you are a carer yourself or someone who requires regular care, the following statistics and facts are sure to be of interest.

  • At the time of writing, roughly 5.4 million people in England provide care for friends or relatives in an unpaid capacity.
  • For the purposes of this guide, an unpaid carer is anybody who looks after a friend, family member, partner or any other person, without financial reward. The person they are caring for may be unable to cope on their own because they are physically sick, mentally ill, have an addiction, or are disabled.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the number of unpaid carers in England increased by 600,000. The largest increase occurred in the category of people who provide 50 or more hours of care every week, bringing the total number of such carers to 1.4 million.
  • The increase in unpaid carers outstripped population growth in the sample period. This is a trend that looks set to continue as people with long-term illnesses and disabilities look forward to a longer life expectancy and the average age of the general population increases.
  • The health of carers has been seen to deteriorate as they take on more hours, with unpaid carers who work long hours more than twice as likely to suffer from ill health as those without such responsibilities. Nearly 21% of carers suffer from health problems, compared to 11% of the population as a whole.
  • Both the physical and mental health of carers can suffer in the long term, along with their education and employment potential. These issues can make carers less effective and sometimes result in the people they are caring for having to be admitted to a hospital or residential care unit.
  • In the 2013 State of Caring Survey, 84% of respondents said that their caring duties had negatively affected their health, compared to 74% in 2011-2012. The negative impact on carers’ health can manifest itself in many ways: as an example, spousal carers are 23% more likely to have a stroke (data taken from Caregiving Strain and Estimated Risk of Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease Among Spouse Caregivers).
  • Carers themselves attribute their increased health risks to the fact they are left to cope on their own: 64% of carers cited a lack of practical support as a leading contributory factor.
  • Unpaid carers contribute a great deal to the economy. It is estimated that the care they provide would cost £119 billion every single year if provided by healthcare professionals.
  • Only a small number of unpaid carers ever have an official assessment, most often prompted by a referral from a GP. Although 70% of carers come into contact with healthcare professionals on a regular basis, only 7% are identified by GPs.
  • 66% of carers say that healthcare professionals don’t do enough to help them find information and support. Instead, they have to rely on charitable organisations to show them where to find what they need.
  • In the 2011 Census, 166,363 unpaid carers between the ages of 5 and 17 were identified. Studies have shown that young carers such as these are at particular risk of developing health problems and of missing out on employment, education, social and leisure opportunities.
  • The number of sandwich carers – those who take care of young children at the same time as elderly relatives – is on the increase, with 2.4 million believed to be present in the United Kingdom.
  • Many young carers remain unidentified by the authorities due to family loyalties and the fact they do not know who to turn to for support.
  • Another interesting fact is that many carers don’t actually have any security checks, which is quite unbelievable when you can easily get CRB and DBS checks whenever you like.

Please see the infographic provided to you from Homecare preferred London for many more facts and statistics on unpaid carers in England. You can also visit Homecare Franchise for some great tips on the benefits of investing into a franchise.

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