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Informal carers- the unsung heroes


 

Informal carers are more common than you might think.  


Carers UK (2024) estimate that the numbers of informal carers currently in the UK are between 5.7 million and 10.6 million.


If that first number shocked you, take a guess at this next one....


This figure comes from new findings from Carers UK and the University of Sheffield, which shows that unpaid carers in England and Wales contribute a staggering £445 million to the economy in England and Wales every day.


The value of unpaid care is equivalent to a second NHS in England and Wales!


Although there have been increases to NHS funding over the years, increases to social care funding have not kept up at the same rate, and the care system is now relying increasingly on the good will of informal carers.  


What do we mean by informal care? 

 

Informal, or unpaid carers, are those looking after relatives or friends who have a disability, illness, mental health condition or who need extra help. 


They may provide assistance with smaller tasks such as helping with the weekly shopping, or emotional support, but it may also include bigger tasks such as assisting with personal care, or even the need for 24/7 assistance and support with all activities.


The pressure of caring can take a toll on a person’s own health and wellbeing. It is therefore vital that these carers are supported, otherwise it is more than likely that the overall quality of life for the carer themselves and the individual they care for will deteriorate over time.


How can we help? 

 
  • Be a listening ear, understand, and identify any anxiety and/or stress in carers 

  • Connect carers to local support groups with like-minded individuals 

  • Signpost for additional support if required  

  • For any informal carers you know in your personal life…how are they? Carers may well report they are managing fine, however, they will no doubt appreciate you asking the question  


Local Support

 

BANES Carers centre are there to help people stay happy and healthy in their caring role 






Information and advice from BANES council about looking after someone





A support group for carers of people with mental health difficulties


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