Those looking after older or disabled loved ones are missing out on vital support with consequences for their own health and finances, according to new findings released on 2016 Carers Rights Day by Carers UK.
People often don’t see themselves as carers and aren’t identified and as a result miss out on support. Half of carers (52%) surveyed said missing out on support as a result of not identifying as a carer impacted negatively on their finances and a similar number (50%) said it had an impact on their physical health.
Missing Out: the identification challenge also reveals that:
- More than half of people (54%) took over a year to recognise their caring role, almost one in four (24%) took over 5 years to identify as a carer, and nearly one in ten (9%) took over 10 years.
- Some groups of carers, such as those caring for disabled children or people with mental health conditions, or caring at a distance, take longer than average to identify their role
- Nine in ten (91%) of carers said they missed out on financial or practical support (or both) as a result of not identifying as a carer
- Three quarters of carers (78%) said missing out on support as a result of not identifying as a carer meant they suffered from stress and anxiety
- Two in five carers (42%) said missing out on support as a result of not identifying as a carer caused them to give up work to care.
The charity is using Carers Rights Day to reach as many of the 6.5 million carers in the UK as possible with information about their rights and the financial and practical help they are entitled to; including benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance, respite and access to equipment and technology which can help them in their caring role.
You can find out more about the research on the Carers UK website.