Over half of the people who are proving support to those living with disabilities say they are not receiving enough support. The figures come from a recent polls that shows how one in eight British people are now carers who having decided to look after a friend of family member who is ill or disabled. This comes to an estimated 6.5 million people.
Carers UK gathered the data to raise awareness of how many British people spend their time caring after someone else during Carers Week 2014. It also suggests that as the population ages, there will be around 9 million carers in just 20 years time.
Helena Herklots from Carers UK said:[quote]As a country, we vastly underestimate just how much caring is done. We sometimes think we are an uncaring society. Well, 6.5 million people caring suggests otherwise. All of us at some point in our lives are either going to be caring for someone or need the help of a carer, so it is in all our interests to get better support in place and to really recognise the huge contribution that carers make to our society.[/quote]
However, despite the fact that a significant proportion of the population is now a care giver, many of the people Carers UK spoke to believe they are not receiving an acceptable amount of support. 53% believe there should be more being done.
Campaigners have singled out the government’s benefit Carer’s Allowance in particular. This is financial state support that provides £61.35 per week. However, they believe that the number is too low and not enough people are being made aware that it exists. Helena Herklots from Carers UK stated that “carers deserve a better deal” from the government.
Campaign groups have also called on local authorities, charities, businesses and the NHS to provide more help to those providing care. The current lack of support, according to Carers UK, is causing physical and emotion distress on those who are providing care to people with disabilities and illnesses. It has often been a cause of exhaustion, sleep deprivation and depression.
Helena Herklots from Carers UK continued:[quote]Carers are struggling. More carers are finding they are not getting the support that they need. Over half the carers say they are not getting enough support. If they can’t cope, it means the person they are caring for might need additional help from a health service or social services. As well as being the right thing to do to support carers, it is also economically the right thing to do.[/quote]