Carers in the UK looking after loved ones with Dementia are facing increasing financial strain. Cera Care, a leading UK care company is highlighting this issue during Carers Week Carers’ Week is seven days of events across the country designed to raise awareness of the issues that carers face and support them in accessing much-needed help.
Those caring for a loved one with Dementia are often amongst those carers facing challenging circumstances and there are lots of them. Figures from Alzheimer’s Research UK indicate that there are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. With just 59,000 people receiving ongoing care from the NHS, this continues to put pressure on loved ones to provide care.
Data from Carers.org shows that there are 670,000 unpaid carers looking after people with dementia in the UK. One-fifth of these carers has given up work completely, equating to 134,000 people nationally.
During Carers Week £60 million is the total unpaid wages for those caring for a loved one with dementia and there are around 134,000 people who have given up work to care for a loved one with dementia. Those that do so will lose almost £24,000 a year in wages. This totals over £60 million in lost wages every week throughout the UK. Ongoing unpaid dementia care duties have left over 288,100 people feeling depressed and 395,300 suffering from stress
Carers in the UK receive just £64.60 in allowance from the Government each week. Someone who had gone from earning an average UK wage to this level would find themselves £23,576 worse off each year. To be eligible for Carers’ Allowance a carer must be looking after someone for at least 35 hours per week and receiving this benefit can affect their ability to access others.
However, the difficulties that carers face aren’t just financial. Their own physical and mental health can be impacted by their caring role. 288,100 carers have reported feeling depressed and 395,300 continue to suffer from stress due to the ongoing care of loved ones.
Caring responsibilities can also leave people feeling socially isolated, with 259,290 carers reporting that they have little social contact with others due to their ongoing caring responsibilities. People in a caring role can also feel isolated from their own families if they are reluctant to confront loved ones care needs or the full extent of their illness.
Sarah McEwan, Head of Resource and Development at Cera Care said “Family members acting as carers can struggle to make ends meet, can face mental health issues and feelings of isolation.
“It’s vital that society recognises the huge contribution that unpaid carers make and celebrates the amazing work that these people do. We want to highlight this and to start a conversation about how carers can be helped to access the support they need and lead fulfilling lives whilst providing care to loved ones.”
Dementia specifically is set to continue to be a challenge for those providing unpaid care as the number of people living with Dementia continues to increase. The number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to reach over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051, whilst around 32% of people born each year since 2015 will go on to develop dementia.
For more information on the impact felt by unpaid carers looking after people with dementia in the UK, visit the Cera website https://ceracare.co.uk/blog/the-hidden-cost-of-dementia/.
Carers Week is an annual campaign designed to highlight the challenges that unpaid carers face but also to recognise the immense contribution they make to looking after people in the UK with debilitating conditions. Carers Week also hosts multiple events up and down the country designed to bring carers together to help them socialise and access much-needed support.