One in three unpaid carers socially isolated

One in three unpaid carers (32 per cent) looking after a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill has felt lonely or isolated because they are uncomfortable talking to friends about their caring role.

A further 32 per cent say they feel socially isolated at work because of their caring responsibilities.

91 per cent of unpaid carers say they have missed out on financial or practical support because they didn’t identify themselves as a carer.

On the 13 March seven national charities, employers, NHS and local government representatives met with the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP, to discuss ways of getting unpaid carers better connected to vital support in the community.

It was an opportunity for charities to highlight the support of the UK’s 6.5 million carers and their enormous contribution to society and the economy.

The roundtable kicks off the theme for Carers Week 2019, the UK’s annual drive to raise awareness of caring, which takes place between 10 and 16 June 2019.

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “A reluctance to talk about caring is affecting millions of unpaid carers across the UK, meaning many aren’t getting the practical and emotional support they need.

“Most of us will look after someone, or be cared for, at some point in our lives so it’s in all of our interests to start the conversation and speak more openly about caring.

“This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Carers Week and we want to see more people involved than ever before. It’s a golden opportunity for all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, health and care services – to get the UK’s unpaid carers connected to help and support.”

Caroline Dinenage, minister of State for Care, said: “So many of us will care for our family, friends or a neighbour at some point in our lives but many of us don’t even recognise our caring role for what it is, which means we risk missing out on vital support. Opening up the conversation around getting carers connected this Carers Week 2019 is a great opportunity to help remedy this and build a support network.

“As a society, we don’t value the incredible job carers do nearly enough. It’s so important that we work to make sure carers are connected to all parts of their community and raise awareness of their incredible contribution to ensure they feel comfortable to share their experiences and seek support.”

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