Are you a Carer?
A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not otherwise manage due to frailty illness or disability. Carers differ in so many ways, they care for young and old, people with a physical or mental impairment. Most would not recognise themselves under the term ‘carer.’ They are just people trying to cope as best they can while helping to look after a loved one. They may even be juggling paid work with their unpaid caring responsibilities at home. What all carers have in common is the prime responsibility for another person’s wellbeing on a very specialised and personal basis. It is important to remember though, that all carers need support, in order to maintain their own sense of identity, and they have a right to be supported by the community at large, as well as the various statutory and regulatory agencies.
The National Carers’ Strategy states that by 2018 every carer should be:
- Recognised and supported as an expert care partner
- Enjoying a life outside caring
- Not financially disadvantaged
- Mentally and physically well; treated with dignity
- Children will be thriving, protected from inappropriate caring roles
Facts & Figures
1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) in the UK are carers.
By 2037, it’s anticipated that the number of carers will increase to 9 million.
Every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – that equals over 2 million people each year.
58% of carers are women and 42% are men.
Over 1 million people care for more than one person.
Carers save the economy £119 billion per year, an average of £18,473 per carer.
Over 3 million people juggle care with work, however the significant demands of caring mean that 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work altogether.
The main carer’s benefit is £62.70 for a minimum of 35 hours, equivalent to £1.79 per hour – far short of the national minimum wage of £7.50 per hour.
People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled.
625,000 people suffer mental and physical ill health as a direct consequence of the stress and physical demands of caring.
Over 1.3 million people provide over 50 hours of care per week.