State of Caring Carers UK State of Caring 2017 Report - Page 21

STATE OF CARING REPORT 2017 The methods a large number of carers are been forced to use to help them make ends meet: 30 % Their savings 26 % 23 % Credit cards -£ Bank overdrafts Very worryingly, a large number of carers reported being forced to use their savings (30%), credit cards (26%) or bank account overdrafts (23%) to help them make ends meet. Others reported borrowing from family or friends (17%). Altogether, over 1 in 5 (22%) carers struggling to make ends meet said they are in or have been in debt as a result of caring. The Government has no understanding that so many carers have to use up all their savings and investments just to make ends meet. Carers are saving them millions and millions of pounds in caring for their loved ones, yet struggle to even receive a mere pittance of unacceptable levels of little or no benefits These coping mechanisms were reported to be the only way many carers could afford their basic living costs and the additional costs of caring, but they were also said to have a significant impact on stress and anxiety and they are unlikely to be sustainable in the long-run. More should be done to ensure that carers and their families do not suffer financial hardship as a result of caring and that they have enough money to provide care and support without it being detrimental to their lives. We just try our best to live on what we have but it is very hard as we are always in arrears. The National Debtline has been great in helping us cope The costs of caring have surprised me. Extra heating, special foods, special loose fitting clothes, taxis. We are lucky enough to have savings but these are being depleted daily I cannot afford hobbies or leisure activities and rarely see family or friends I miss meals. I have been doing this for years. It’s exhausting never been able to relax about money. The worry if they change the benefit system again and how will we cope?” Due to caring, my own old age which had been planned and saved for will be bleak and possibly homeless 21