Work of carers is not being recognised


New research released to mark Carers Rights Day has shown that nearly half of the population do not know a carer

24th November 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The vital work of unpaid carers is being greatly underestimated, a study has shown.

A report released to mark Carers Rights Day today (Friday) has found that nearly half of Scots (49%) believe they don’t know a single friend or family member looking after a loved one, despite one in six Scots acting as carers.

Carers Scotland has said that the public remains in the dark, with many underestimating the number of carers in their own family, friendship groups and places of work.

Only one in four workers (21%) questioned by the charity said they know a work colleague who is looking after a loved one. In reality, 17% of Scots adults are carers and one in nine workers juggle a paid job with unpaid caring.

Simon Hodgson, director of Carers Scotland, said the study showed the value of carers is not being recognised.

“More and more of us are stepping into caring roles, yet carers all-too-often remain hidden in plain sight at work, in friendships, and even in the families,” he said. “Often, it takes somebody else to tell us that we are a carer before we recognise ourselves as such.

“This year, we are encouraging every member of the public to learn more about caring and where to go for advice and assistance. It is only through our concerted efforts to identify and support carers that we can alleviate some of the emotional and practical challenges facing the 759,000 people in Scotland looking after an ill, older or disabled loved one.”

Amongst all of those polled, including those that had not recognised carers in their social circles or at work, 68% said they would feel confident providing emotional support to a new carer. Yet, only four in 10 (42%) would feel confident pointing people in the direction of information about caring.

The findings come after last year’s Missing Out report, which showed the impact of carers across UK not being identified quickly enough. Among carers who struggled to recognise their roles, half saw their finances negatively affected.