Loneliness Among Carers at ‘Epidemic’ Level
Unpaid carers looking after sick, disabled or ageing loved ones are seven times more likely to be lonely compared with the general public, shocking new figures suggest.
Lack of time or money to take part in leisure activities, as well as the stigma of being a carer, means one in three unpaid carers are always or often lonely, compared with just one in twenty of the general population.
The research (1) released for Carers Week 2019 (10th – 16th June) also shows unpaid carers feel what they do in life is significantly less worthwhile compared with the rest of the population.
This is despite “the vital support carers provide their loved ones and their enormous contribution to society’, the charity Carers UK says.
- around 8.8 million UK adults are unpaid carers
- most provide over 50 hours of care a week
- the worst affected are parents looking after disabled under 18s
- they are twice as anxious as the general public
- they are half as satisfied with life
Carers Weeks brings seven national charities together to highlight the urgent need to tackle loneliness and improve wellbeing among the UK’s carers, who all too often put their needs second. Holistically meeting the needs of carers who support individuals living with brain injury is particularly important, given the complex nature of the condition. The wide variety of symptoms that may present following brain injury including physical, behavioural and emotional needs can be particularly challenging for carers and family members.
“Many unpaid carers struggle alone without support,’ said Carers UK chief executive, Karen Walker. “If we are to combat the loneliness epidemic facing them, it is imperative that everyone plays a role putting carers in touch with practical and financial help.”
- UK, Carers. Getting Carers Connected. 2019.