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  • No choice but to care: Carers Week report 2024

    Article information
    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • Carers Week
    • 10/06/24
    • Everyone


    Millions of unpaid carers across the UK provide support to a family member, friend or neighbour due to a disability, illness or frailty due to old age. Yet a majority of unpaid carers have no choice but to take on a caring role. While providing unpaid care can be rewarding, it also comes with significant negative impacts on carers’ lives. 

    Carers Week commissioned YouGov to carry out polling of the general public, including adults who are currently providing unpaid care. 


    The YouGov Omnibus polling, of nearly 6,500 people, found that:

    • 62% of those who are currently providing or those who have previously provided unpaid care said that they had no choice in taking on the role because no other care options were available – this is around 10 million people.
    • The impact of caring has been more negative than positive for all areas unpaid carers were asked about, particularly for employment, finances and savings, and physical and mental health.
    • By far the biggest negative impact has been on mental health with 63% of current and former unpaid carers saying that caring had a negative impact on their mental health, with 24% saying it had a ‘very negative’ impact. An estimated 10.1m current and former unpaid carers in the UK experienced a negative impact on their mental health as a result of caring. An estimated 10.1 million current and former unpaid carers say caring had a negative impact on their mental health 48%
    • Current and former unpaid carers also said that caring had a negative impact on their:

    » Physical health (53%) – around 8.5m people in the UK

    » Job and ability to work (48%) – around 7.7m people in the UK

    » Finances and savings (47%) – around 7.6m people in the UK

    • Of those who said they had no choice about taking on a caring role, a greater proportion of current unpaid carers and former unpaid carers experienced negative effects of caring.
    • Women fared worse than men due to the impact of caring; they were far more likely to say that caring has had a negative effect on their physical and mental health, employment, pensions and relationships.
    • Those aged 45 to 54 were most likely to have no choice when taking on a caring role and were most likely to say that caring has had a significant negative impact on their finances, career and pensions.

    Carers Week also commissioned a second YouGov Political Omnibus poll of over 4,200 members of the general public, which found that:

    • 73% of the UK adult population said that the next government should provide more support for unpaid carers
    • When asked about what the next government should focus on to support unpaid carers, the most popular issues picked by the general public were financial support for unpaid carers (53%) and investment in social care to enable unpaid carers to take a break (53%).
    No choice but to care: Carers Week report 2024 https://www.carersuk.org/media/3dblytnt/carers-week-report-2024-web_final.pdf
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