The stress of being a carer is so great many of the 340,000 carers in Wales are at “breaking point”.
That’s the main finding from a survey published to coincide with Carers Week which is currently running and ends on June 14th .
The survey, which was carried out by 10 UK care charities, found that more than three-quarters of carers in Wales said their role was so difficult many suffered severe stress while others had breakdowns and, in some cases, even attempted suicide.
The research also found that:
• Over a third (39%) of respondents cited “frustration with bureaucracy” as the cause of reaching breaking point. Other factors included the deterioration of the person being cared for and lack of sleep.
• 68% of carers in Wales had not had a respite break for more than a year, of these, a third have never had one at all.
• More than a third (35%) said more money would make a difference to their caring duties (the main benefit for carers, Carer’s Allowance, is the lowest of its kind at just £53.10 per week).
• 77% of the public in Wales believed that Carer’s Allowance was an unreasonable amount to support those unable to work because of their caring responsibilities.
• Respondents said “practical support”, followed by “the chance to take a break” and “someone to talk to” would be factors that could help them.
A total of 1,941 carers took part in the UK-wide survey with 142 respondents from Wales. Carers Week, which is now in its fifteenth year, is organised by a range of organisations and charities ranging from Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support to the Parkinson’s Disease Society.
This week also saw the publication of a Carers’ Ten Point Plan by the Welsh mental health charity Hafal.
The plan sets out the positive steps carers can take to move forward and support the person they care for.
To read Hafal’s Carer’s Ten Point Plan please visit: http://www.hafal.org/hafal/publications.php
To visit the Carers Week site: http://www.carersweek.org/