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24 April, 2020 Open access

Unpaid carers are ‘close to burnout’ as a result of the coronavirus outbreak

New Carers UK survey finds that 70 per cent of unpaid carers are providing more care during the pandemic, and that more than half feel overwhelmed

Unpaid carers are 'close to burnout' as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to research from Carers UK.

In a new report, Caring behind closed doors - forgotten families in the coronavirus outbreak', Carers UK sets out the result of a survey of 5,047 carers carried out between 3 April and 14 April 2020.

The report's key findings include that -

Commenting on the findings, Carers UK Chief Executive Helen Walker said -

'Unpaid carers are fighting the same battle as care staff and many of our NHS workers: yet they do it behind closed doors and with far less recognition. Unlike our fantastic frontline workers they are unable to clock off from their caring responsibilities. Many are overwhelmed and incredibly anxious about how they will manage in the weeks ahead.

The financial penalty of caring for someone is so much bigger at the moment, with the vast majority of unpaid carers spending more on food and household bills on top of what they already contribute towards care costs, installing adaptions in the home and increased fuel bills. It is simply unacceptable that carer’s allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind when unpaid carers contribute so much and at a significant cost to their own finances. The government should raise it.

This crisis needs to be a turning point in how we as a society treat carers. Going forward, government must invest in the care and support families so desperately need.'

For more information, see The forgotten families in lockdown: unpaid carers close to burnout during COVID-19 crisis from carersuk