CIS Report: No One Should Have To Care Alone
Loneliness can affect anyone, but carers are particularly at risk. According to research by the national carers’ charity Carers UK, eight in ten unpaid carers have felt lonely or isolated because of their caring role.
If left unchecked, loneliness can be devastating. Research shows that lacking meaningful social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015).
As part of a Carers Week campaign to help carers get Healthy and Connected, we surveyed 124 carers and conducted nine in-depth interviews on caring and loneliness in Croydon.
Our research found:
- 64% of carers said that caring stopped them from socialising as much as they wanted to for most or all of the time.
- 45% felt lonely or isolated because of their caring role most or all of the time.
- 78% of carers who used the Carers Support Centre said it helped them feel less lonely and isolated.
- 53% said that increased access to respite breaks from caring would reduce their loneliness; followed by support for the person being cared for (52%); increased disability and carer awareness from professionals (44%); and the general public (37%).
Read our full report: No one should have to care alone: caring and loneliness in Croydon
CIS Report: Not Just a Patient
The Carers UK State of Caring survey of over 6,000 carers found that 72% experienced mental health problems and 61% faced physical health issues. Our Not Just a Patient report in Croydon's GP services found that 82% of carers said their GP hadn't told them about carer support in the community. It also showed that carers are more likely to report long-term health problems, pain, issues with self care, mobility issues and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. GPs and other NHS staff are often the first professionals carers will come into contact with.
As part of a Carers Week campaign to build carer friendly communities, the Carers Information Service surveyed over 200 adult carers registered with a GP in the London Borough of Croydon about their experience of local GP services. Our research found:
- 61% of carers say their GP knows about their caring role.
- 82% of carers have not been informed of carer support available in the community.
- 59% of carers have not been informed of the NHS Health Check by their GP.
- Over a third (35%) of carers have not been informed of the annual flu jab by their GP.
- Almost half (49%) of carers want their GP to tell them about local carer support.