A new survey shows many carers are struggling to make ends meet with a knock-on effect on their mental health.
Seventy per cent of carers are not confident they will make it financially through the next year, according to a new survey.
The survey of 2,709 adults by insurance company Surewise shows almost three-quarters of carers polled [73.2%] had experienced worsened mental health at times due to being a carer and that carers have been hard hit by the cost of living crisis, with a knock-on impact on their mental health for nearly three quarters. 65% are cutting back on daily essentials such as food in response to the cost of living crisis, with 32% cutting into their savings.
60% are cutting back on hobbies and other leisure activities. Over a quarter or carers surveyed are borrowing or using credit – 16.4% are using credit cards in response to the cost of living crisis, while 11.4% have been forced to borrow money from family or friends.
Asked what needs to be done to better support carers, increased carers benefits was the number one priority, with financial support being way ahead of mental health support. More than half of carers surveyed (56.1%) felt that there had been no changes in support for carers since the Covid pandemic despite the greater focus on care. Just 12.3% felt that support had improved – while almost a third of carers (31.6%) felt that support for carers has actually worsened since COVID-19.
Research prior to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the lack of mental health provision for carers, and this study is demonstrating once again the urgent need for increased support for this sector,” says Stuart Bensusan, Director of Surewise.
“Despite the hard work and sacrifices that carers, both paid and unpaid, make every single day, it’s also clear that there is a fundamental failure to provide financial support for those working in this sector. Carers are already facing an increased burden of responsibility for the people they care for, with many unpaid carers reducing their income in order to do so. That the vast majority of carers are not sure how they will get through the next year is something that urgently needs to be addressed.”