One in four unpaid carers havenâ€™t had a day off in four years, new research has found, prompting warnings that people are reaching â€œbreaking pointâ€ as they struggle to take even a day away from care responsibilities for years at a time.
A report by Carers UK found that carers â€”Â defined as those who provide unpaid support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness or mental health problem or is ageing â€” are struggling to spend time with partners and children or to see a doctor for their own health conditions.
Nearly nine in 10 (87 per cent) of carers said they still â€œstruggleâ€ to attain time away from their care duties, due in part to cost (32 per cent), the cared for person being unwilling to accept support from others (31 per cent) and a lack of specialised support on offer (27 per cent).
Nearly three-quarters of carers who had not had a break in a year or more meanwhile reported deterioration in their mental health (73 per cent), while 65 per cent reported a decline in their physical health.
The research also noted growing anxiety around the level of support that will be available against a backdrop of cuts to adult social care services, with almost a third (29 per cent) of carers worried that practical support for them might be reduced in the future.
Already, more than half (59 per cent) of carers reported a change in the services they received and, of these, four in ten (39 per cent) experienced a reduction in the amount of support offered by social services.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45