Unpaid carers are the backbone of our society who often go unrecognised for their dedication and compassion. They face a range of challenges as they attempt to juggle their work-life-care responsibilities. That’s why we decided to commission YouGov to conduct a UK-wide research project focused on identifying gaps in support and sought to understand the views of unpaid carers.
When carers were asked about their support needs, a sizable majority (74%) of carers felt that further support in some form would be useful to them, with a common desire for emotional support (33%). Carers also sought information and advice about the support available, respite care, and finances. Our report also found that there was a need for advice about maintaining good mental and emotional health, shining a light on the often-unexpected levels of stress, isolation and despondency felt by unpaid carers.
Our research has found growing concern amongst unpaid carers that their responsibilities are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. What is also striking is the difference in opinion about their future outlook – pessimism grows with the number of hours unpaid carers devote to caring each week. A key theme of our research is that unpaid carers feel forgotten whereas we believe they should feel they are a key part of their local community. We have a responsibility to recognise the contribution of unpaid carers and our recommendations offer a way forward with that in mind.