Survey of Adult Carers in England

June 25, 2019

Research from NHS Digital, Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England 2018-19 has found that more informal carers are stressed or depressed than before.

The survey of 50,800 adult carers in England saw 60.6% of carers reporting feeling stressed in 2018-19, up from 58.7% in 2016-17, while the percentage of carers who reported feeling depressed also increased, from 43.4% in 2016-17 to 45.1% in 2018-19.

Of all the carers surveyed, 77.8% reported ‘feeling tired’ (an increase from 76% in
2016-17) and 66% said that they experienced ‘disturbed sleep’ (an increase from 64% in 2016-17).

In terms of the amount of care being provided, more than three quarters (76.0%) of respondents to the survey of adult carers in England said that they spend over 20 hours per week looking after the cared-for person, and 38.7% said they spend over 100 hours per week on their caring duties.

The survey also showed a rise in the percentage of carers who were not in paid work as a result of their caring responsibilities, from 21% in 2016-17 to 22.6% in 2018-19.

Financial difficulties for carers are also increasing, as 10.6% of respondents reported that caring had caused them a lot of issues in this area in the past 12 months, compared to 9.6% of respondents in 2016-17.

The report also provides information relating to the carer and their wider experiences of providing care. The majority of carers were female (67.8%) and the largest age band of carers was 55-64 years. The smallest group was 18-24 years.

The survey of adult carers in England also shows:

  • The majority of carers surveyed (65.4%) have been caring for over five years.
  • Almost a quarter (23.5%) have been caring for 20 years or more.
  • Most carers who responded to the survey were caring for a person with a physical disability (51.4%), with the next-largest group caring for someone with a long-standing illness (39.7%).
  • 38.6% of carers were extremely or very satisfied with the support or services they received, compared to 7.2% who were extremely or very dissatisfied.

Further information and the full report can be found on the NHS Digital website.

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