Financial difficulties caused by caring are linked to increased feelings of social isolation, according to a survey of adult carers published by NHS Digital today.
The Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England 2016-17 reports on the views of 55,700 carers who are caring for a person aged 18 or over. It found that almost 40% of carers who reported the most serious financial difficulties also had little social contact with people and felt socially isolated.
For carers who reported not having financial problems caused by their caring duties (54%), almost 10% felt socially isolated. Financial difficulties caused by caring responsibilities was the only variable found to have a statistically significant effect on every question analysed in this report.
The report also provides information relating to the carer and their wider experiences of providing care.
- 21% of carers surveyed have been providing unpaid care for over 20 years.
- 71% of carers were extremely, very or quite satisfied with the support or services they received, compared to 13% who were extremely, very or quite dissatisfied.
- 90% of carers aged 85 and over (22,100) have caring responsibilities for someone aged 75 or over.
- Of all carers, 76% report 'feeling tired' and 64% report they experienced 'disturbed sleep' as a result of their caring role.
58.5% of carers surveyed spend more than 35 hours per week providing care and over a third of carers (35.7%) provide care for over 100 hours per week.
The average quality of life score for carers in England is 7.7 out of 124; carers who had a quality of life score lower than the national average are more likely to spend 50 hours a week or more on their caring responsibilities. The average quality of life score in the previous survey, in 2014-15, was 7.9. However, the population surveyed was different.