Breaks or Breakdown

Research released for Carers Week has found that carers lost, on average, 25 hours of support a month they previously had from services or family and friends before the pandemic.

72% of carers have not had any breaks from their caring role at all. Of those who got a break, a third (33%) used the time to complete practical tasks or housework, and a quarter (26%) to attend their own medical appointments.

Whose Social Care Is It Anyway?

The ‘Whose Social Care is it Anyway?’ Inquiry group issue first findings.  

This inquiry is led by people who draw on social care to lead their lives or who support loved ones to do so. They were tired of being left out of discussions about reform or of being the ‘tick box service user’ so they took matters into their own hands and started the Whose Social Care is it Anyway? Inquiry.

They knew they didn’t know everything so asked people whether they currently experience their vision (below) in their lives and their ideas for change.

Managing someone else's affairs (Carers UK, May 2021)

Carers UK has carried out research looking at carers’ experiences when acting on behalf of the person they care for. This work has been supported by British Gas. For some carers, especially those who have very significant or stressful caring responsibilities, having to communicate with services that do not understand them, or their needs, can be very challenging.

This report shows the findings which include:

Carers and Physical Activity: A study of the barriers, motivations and experiences of unpaid carers aged 55 and over in England

Carers UK's new ‘Carers and Physical Activity' report looks at ways to support carers over the age of 55 in England to take part in more physical activity, to both reduce loneliness and improve their wellbeing.

The report was supported by Sport England, with funds from the National Lottery.

The research examines the barriers for carers in being active, and shares best practice examples and recommendations to make physical activity more accessible to reduce the health inequalities carers face.

Experiences of GP access, Ongoing Treatments and Wellbeing Throughout the Pandemic (Healthwatch South Tees 21 April 2021)

Following text from Healthwatch South Tees:

In October 2020 we launched our GPs, Ongoing Treatments and Wellbeing survey.

We decided to do this following the intelligence we received from our previous lockdown report, our Information and Signposting service and our Community Champions - which all suggested the below issues required more exploration:

The Adult Social Care Market in England

High-quality care is critical to the well-being of some of the most vulnerable adults in society. Yet levels of unpaid care remain high, too many adults have unmet needs and forecasts predict growing demand for care. The lack of a long-term vision for care and short-term funding has hampered local authorities’ ability to innovate and plan for the long term, and constrained investment in accommodation and much-needed workforce development. In a vast and diverse social care market, the current accountability and oversight arrangements do not work.

Caring as a Social Determinant of Health (Public Health)

‘Caring as a social determinant of health: Findings from a rapid review of reviews and analysis of the GP Patient Survey’.

The report finds that carers are at increased risk of illness, and specifically musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular disease, generalised cognitive deterioration and function, and poor sleep. The report also finds that carers struggle to access services and are at risk of financial hardship.

Caring and Covid-19: Financial Well-Being During 'Lockdown' (Sustainable Care 2020)

This report considers the financial wellbeing of people providing unpaid care (outside their own household) in April and May 2020, during the UK’s official ‘lockdown’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also looks at their likelihood of being ‘furloughed’ and at changes in their working hours, analysing these by sex, age and employment status. An estimated 6,048,286 adults provided care to someone living outside their own household in the UK in 2020. They are a ‘subset’ of the 10,991,440 adults estimated to be carers.