Caring for a loved one is a rewarding choice to make, but can take a toll on one’s own health and well-being. This year’s Carers Week, we are supporting the unpaid carers in the UK who want more advice and services catered to them so they can continue caring for someone to the best of their ability.
What can impact the health and well-being of an unpaid carer*?
- A carer’s own well being – 54% of carers have said they have reduced the amount of time the exercise due to caring for another, while 45% said it was hard to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- A risk in physical or mental health conditions – 3 in 5 carers have reported they have a long term health condition, especially young carers aged 18-24.
- Higher risk in experiencing stress, anxiety and worse mental health – 50% of carers reported their mental health has got worse since becoming a carer. 8 out of 10 carers said they feel more stressed, while 7 out of 10 said caring has made them more anxious.
- Experience physical injury – 2 in 5 people who haven’t received the right information or training on keeping well have said they have injured themselves through caring.
So, how can we all help the unpaid carers in the UK? Carers have told the Carers Week charities that they want the receive support from their communities, with access to advice, information and services to help them care well and look after themselves. They want to be treated as individuals with their own health and wellbeing needs, and not only as a carer of someone else.
*Statistics taken from Carers Week website