New data released by the ONS has revealed one in ten people across Wales provide unpaid care for a loved one.
Port Talbot, Caerphilly and Torfaen are the three Welsh regions most impacted by the country’s care crisis – with the highest proportions of unpaid carers across the UK.
As Wales, care crisis continues to rise, new research from Lottie (a later living marketplace) reveals more unpaid caregivers have turned to Google for advice on coping with the financial implications of providing unpaid care for their loved one over the last 12 months:
100% increase in online searches for ‘unpaid carers allowance’
80% increase in online searches for ‘unpaid carer’
57% increase in online searches for ‘unpaid carer Wales’
57% increase in online searches for ‘home help for the elderly’
“We’re now at the tipping point of a caregiver crisis across Wales, with more people than ever before providing unpaid care for a loved one – on top of coping with the increased spike in the cost of living,” shares Will Donnelly, Care Expert and Co-Founder at Lottie.
“Many of those living in the welsh regions hardest hit by the care crisis have reported ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health. With a lack of social care support it’s no surprise the wellbeing of carers and those they look after have declined.
The Government urgently needs to recognise the social care crisis that’s unravelling: all unpaid carers – whether they’re in employment or not – need financial, wellbeing and practical support. It isn’t enough to recognise the crisis; we need clear guidelines on the support available.
There is a risk that unpaid carers and the elderly community will become isolated, without the right support. Social isolation can have a devastating impact on your physical health and mental wellbeing, including higher levels of stress, increased feelings of depression and burnout.
Right now, we need to place even more pressure on the Government to ensure there’s enough support for unpaid carers across the country.”, concludes Donnelly.
Here’s How To Protect Your Wellbeing As An Unpaid Carer:
As an unpaid carer you may be entitled to certain benefits paid for by the Government – including a carer’s allowance – so it’s worth checking what you can receive.
This could relieve some of the pressure and worry facing anyone caring for an elderly relative during this financial crisis. It’s also worth checking via a benefits calculator, as you may also be able to claim for support with your council tax or help with fuel costs.
Caring for an elderly parent can be very rewarding, but it can be a challenge and leave you feeling overwhelmed. So, it’s important to find wellbeing support for yourself, but also relieve some of the pressures you’re facing through practical help – including a carer’s assessment.
All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment from their local council, so you may be able to ask for additional support (especially if you’re a working carer), or any equipment to make caring for your loved one easier.
Alternatively, if your elderly parent requires round-the-clock support and you’re unable to provide this, you can browse local care homes that offer nursing or residential care.
Confide in those around you
It’s understandable to feel isolated and lonely but opening up about how you’re feeling can be a huge relief.
Your close friends or family may be able to support you and help with caring for your elderly parent, to alleviate some pressure off you. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to connect with those in similar situations. A quick search online will show you any local support groups for you to attend.
Finally, if you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to speak to your doctor or a medical professional – there is always help available.