Breaks or Breakdown

Carers Week Report

Caring for a family member, friend, or neighbour can be
challenging and often comes at significant personal cost.
Without sufficient support or meaningful breaks it can take its
toll on carers’ emotional and physical health, their ability to work
and also have a knock-on effect on their long-term finances.

For carers a break is time off from caring and a chance to do things they would like to do,
but can’t do while they are caring – everyday things such as catching up with friends, going
for a walk, or simply catching up on sleep. It could be for 30 minutes, an afternoon, or a
week. A break could be provided by accessing care services such as replacement care, sitting services, a day service, or through support from family and friends providing either respite or essential care.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on carers’ ability
to access breaks. Not only are the majority of carers (81%) providing more care than before
the pandemic. While their responsibility has grown the support they used to rely on has
reduced.

Many carers have been on call all day, every day in the past year; on duty, never getting a
night’s sleep, and with no time to themselves or proper time with family or close friends.

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.

Three quarters (74%) reported being exhausted as a result of caring during the pandemic, and more than a third (35%) said they feel unable to manage their unpaid caring role.

Read the full report –



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