State of Caring Carers UK State of Caring 2017 Report - Page 10

STATE OF CARING REPORT 2017 Those spending 50 hours or more a week caring were most likely to report they had not had a day off from caring for over a year, with nearly half of people (47%) saying this, while 9 out of 10 (90%) of those caring for a disabled child said they had not had a full week off for over a year. People in paid work and those providing palliative care were more likely to have had a day off from caring within the last year than other groups (71% and 70% respectively). They were also more likely to report having had one day off in the last week, with a fifth of people in both groups stating this (21%). The effect of not having a rest from caring is shattering, with carers describing being close to breaking point, desperate for some time to themselves, to sleep, recuperate, and see friends and family. Carers who reported not having had a break from caring within the last year, were also more likely to report having suffered mental ill health as a result of caring or that their physical health has worsened as a result of caring, with 73% and 64% stating this respectively, compared to 70% and 61% for all groups. Barriers to getting a break For those struggling to get a break from caring, the most common reasons that people gave were the costs of paying for or contributing to the cost of a break, or that the person they care for isn’t willing to accept care and support from others, which 3 out of 10 people reported for each (31%). People caring for a disabled child were more likely to report that the costs of a break was a barrier (36%), while older people were the least likely group to report cost as an issue (21%). Other common reasons for struggling to get a break across all groups included that the care needed for the person who is supported is not on offer (27%), not being confident in the quality of care available (19%), and not knowing how to get one (16%). For those who said that the care they need in order to take a break is not on offer, a lack of specialist support needed by the person they care for not being accessible was the most common reason. People providing palliative care were most likely to report that the care needed for the person they support is not on offer, with almost a half of people in this group stating this (44%). They were also the most likely to say they weren’t confident in the quality of care available (33%) and that they didn’t know how to get a break (23%). Those caring for a child with disabilities were also more likely to struggle to find support services on offer for the person they care for with 1 in 4 (39%) reporting this. Troublingly, only 13% of all groups said that they haven’t struggled to access a break from caring. 10 I rarely get to see friends or even have an hour off let alone anything more It would cause considerable distress to my husband if he was put into respite even for a short break I would never dare to take a break away from caring as the standard of care can not be relied upon. The potential risk to the life of the person I care for is too scary to contemplate I have tried and tried. I’ve not had respite since my son was 18, he is 25 this year. Social services tell me there aren’t suitable places for him The level of care needed is much more than the care package provides I get regular breaks every month from my caring role, that helps me to go on providing the care that is needed for my son