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Carers facing unprecedented pressure on their finances

14 November 2022

A new survey report from Carers UK highlights that the cost of living crisis has led to a quarter of carers saying they were cutting back on essentials such as food or heating.

In addition:

  • Over half of carers (63%) said they were extremely worried about managing their monthly costs
  • Over three quarters (77%) said rising inflation is one of the main challenges they will face over the coming year.
  • Nearly all carers who were struggling to make ends meet (93%) agreed that the increase in the cost of living was having a negative impact on their mental and/or physical health.

Other findings include that:

  • Two thirds of those (67%) waiting for NHS treatment said that waiting is having a negative impact on their physical or mental health
  • 41% of carers haven’t taken a break from their caring role in the last year
  • 61% said they were uncertain about what practical support they might be able to access in the next 12 months.

Carers UK said: “The State of Caring 2022 report demonstrates the daily challenges that carers are facing. With the rise in cost of living, carers’ finances are under more pressure than ever before, causing additional stress and anxiety and leaving carers to face unprecedented financial hardship this winter.

“Issues around accessing healthcare appointments and social care services means that many carers are feeling lonely, isolated, undervalued and unrecognised, and many are not getting the support they need.

"Carers have told us that their physical health is poor and that they are waiting for specialist treatment. As a result of health conditions being untreated, many carers are in pain, and unable to carry out their caring role.”

As a result, Carers UK sets out several recommendations on how carers should be better supported, including:

  • A funded National Carers Strategy for England
  • The uprating of all benefits, including Carer’s Allowance and the Carer Element of universal credit, in line with current levels of inflation before 2023
  • A review and reform of carers’ benefits
  • Investment in social care to support carers with adequate breaks
  • Better access to NHS and support services for unpaid carers

The State of Caring report 2022 is available from carersuk.org.