New data released today by NHS Digital on unpaid carers in England shows a worsening impact on their quality of life. The survey of 50,800 adults caring for older or disabled adults in England reveals a worsening impact on carers’ own health and wellbeing and finances with higher levels of sleep deprivation, stress and depression all reported in the survey.
Commenting on the data, Helen Walker, Chief Executive at Carers UK, said:
“The findings from the NHS Digital Survey of Adult Carers in England 2018-19, released today, again underline the need for Government to urgently come forward with significant and effective proposals for reforming Adult Social Care funding, to ensure unpaid carers – and the family members and friends that they care for – get the support and services they need.
The results show that 1 in 10 carers are experiencing significant financial difficulties as a direct result of caring, a substantial 1.9% rise since 2016/17. The survey also makes clear that caring is having an increasingly negative impact on carers own health and wellbeing. In response to every health metric reported on in the survey, from ‘feeling tired’ or ‘depressed’, to having ‘disturbed sleep’ or ‘experiencing physical strain’, more carers report that their own health is suffering. Given these findings, it is not surprising that over 60% of carers feel stressed as a direct result of their caring role.
It couldn’t be clearer; carers, who provide so much support and value to society, are being massively short-changed. It has been 839 days since the Government first promised a Green Paper on Adult Social Care reform. Meanwhile, the over 5.5million carers in England remain in limbo, still waiting to find out what their future will look like. The new Prime Minister, once in place, must make Adult Social Care a priority and deliver additional support for carers across the country.”