Financial difficulties caused by caring linked to social isolation

Almost 40% of carers who reported the most serious financial difficulties also felt socially isolated, according to a survey of carers from NHS Digital.

The Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England 2016-17 reports on the views of 55,700 carers who are caring for a person aged 18 or over.

For carers who reported not having financial problems caused by their caring duties (54%), almost 10% felt socially isolated. Financial difficulties caused by caring responsibilities was the only variable found to have a statistically significant effect on every question analysed in the report.

The report also found:

21% of carers surveyed have been providing unpaid care for over 20 years.

71% of carers were extremely, very or quite satisfied with the support or services they received, compared to 13% who were extremely, very or quite dissatisfied.

90% of carers aged 85 and over (22,100) have caring responsibility for someone aged 75 or over.

Of all carers, 76% report ‘feeling tired’ and 64% report they experienced ‘disturbed sleep’ as a result of their caring role.

The average quality of life score for carers in England is 7.7 out of 124; carers who had a quality of life score lower than the national average are more likely to spend 50 hours a week or more on their caring responsibilities. 

The average quality of life score in the previous survey, in 2014-15, was 7.9. However, the population surveyed at that time was different.