Carers UK have published their annual State of Caring report, with shocking statistics suggesting that half of carers believe their quality of life will decrease in the next 12 months.
The survey of over 7000 carers from across the United Kingdom came to some worrying conclusions regarding the ability to provide care while remaining financially stable and the carers’ own health.
72% of carers in the UK have had issues with mental health as a direct result of caring, and 61% had suffered physical ill health as a direct result from caring. The study also showed that over one fifth of carers had refused health and care support due to concerns over quality.
One in seven carers have been hit by cuts in financial support, and one in ten are confident of the existing support continuing – despite carers saving the taxpayer around £132 billion per year.
The financial aspect of care was one of the largest concerns for responders in the survey: over a third of carers describe their financial situation as “struggling to make ends meet,” with a further 20% saying they are in, or have been in debt as a direct result of being a carer.
One carer responded as saying: “I am now financially dependent, wholly, on my husband, which makes me extremely anxious,” while another said “I spend my time terrified about benefits and benefit cuts and how we will live if things get any worse for us.”
Another respondent said: “We are caught in a Catch 22 situation. I want to work but would lose £500 by working. This month I have less than £150 to feed three of us. I’m in despair.”
47% of carers had to cut back on essentials such as food and heating to cope, which has a significant impact on a carer’s health.