New research shows people don’t think carers are valued enough

Published date: 09 Jun 2017 at 12:10PM

People in the UK think those who provide unpaid care for loved ones aren’t appreciated enough. This is according to a new online poll published today, the start of Carers Week.

Carers Week is a national awareness week that celebrates the contribution unpaid carers make to families and communities around the country. We’ve joined forces with seven other charities to make it happen.

Undervalued and unprepared

To launch Carers Week, we ran an online poll to see what the general public thinks about carers. It found that:

  • More than 7 in 10 (74%) feel carers aren’t valued enough by society for the support they provide.
  • This rises to 83% for those who have experience of caring.
  • When asked their top three concerns, the cost of care and its impact on people’s finances is the top worry for people who’ve never had a caring experience (47%). Coping with the stress of caring is the second biggest worry (43%).
  • Nearly a third (32%) who’ve never cared for someone said they would worry they didn’t have the skills or experience to become a carer.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of those who’ve never cared said they wouldn’t know or understand what help would be available if they became a carer.

A world of difference to people with MS

These findings are really worrying, as we know people with MS receive a huge amount of support from family or friends.

Our recent report on social care and the MS community in England showed 85% of people with MS received some level of unpaid care, support or assistance from family and friends in 2016.

More than a third (36%) of people who need support told us they rely solely on unpaid care.

Caring for the carers

Our Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, says: “Carers Week is a fantastic opportunity to thank all of the people who play such a crucial role in providing care and support to their loved ones. More than 100,000 people in the UK live with MS, and we know that unpaid carers make a world of difference in helping people manage this unpredictable condition.

“We know that caring can be really difficult though, and more can be done to better recognise and support them. That’s why we’re joining other charities this Carers Week to urge our new Government to set out its plan for how support for carers can be improved.”

>> Download our new resource on supporting someone with MS.

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Page last updated: 12 Jun 2017

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