An Alzheimer’s Society survey of over 1,000 unpaid current and former carers of people with dementia shows that family and friends are the backbone of support.
The survey revealed that 4 out of 5 of those classed as primary carers take on the majority of caring responsibilities (80%) for their loved one.
For those spending on average four working days a week (28.5 hours) providing essential practical and emotional support, the impact of unpaid caring duties comes at a price, with a quarter going as far to say they feel they have lost their identity (26%).
The survey also highlights the isolation felt by unpaid carers of people living with dementia, as a quarter revealed they lost friends (24%) and lacked frequent social contact with others (27%).
3 in 10 also said they didn’t have anyone they felt they could go to for help (29%).
While, around half (47%) surveyed have had to juggle caring duties with working full time and over two-fifths said their caring duties put a strain on their relationship (43%).
Currently, 1 in 10 of the population are providing unpaid care. With 1 in 3 people born today going on to develop dementia in their lifetime, we are concerned that the overwhelming impact of caring for someone with dementia will only be exacerbated without urgent action.
Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging people to sign up to a Memory Walk, which sees thousands of people walk for, or in memory of a loved one with dementia.
Funds raised will go towards vital campaigning efforts and support services desperately needed by people who have been devastated by dementia, including carers.
Supporting the findings, actor Anne-Marie Duff added: “Unpaid carers exemplify what it means to be kind and compassionate – quite simply, unpaid carers are heroes.”
Alzheimer’s Society CEO, Kate Lee, said: “This vital care can be incredibly rewarding but comes at a cost – often coping with changes to behaviour and carrying out daily tasks many of us take for granted.
“By signing up to one of our Memory Walks, we can continue to provide help and hope to everyone who has been devastated by dementia.
“We see thousands of people, all connected by similar experiences, coming together, which is always incredible to witness. From the buzz of the crowd to the hug of a stranger who gets it – whatever you feel on the day, you won’t be alone.”
Sponsored Memory Walks are free to sign up for and will be taking place across 24 locations this September and October.