Annual Carer Survey 2021 Highlights

Carers we support

Our annual Carer Survey takes into consideration the ever changing landscape for those carers we help.

The survey considers the on-going effect of Covid-19 on the caring population, as well as addressing concerns of those carers who are waiting for all-important time away from caring to look after their own physical and emotional health.

This year (2021 – 22) one of the survey’s key findings is that many more carers are feeling increasingly isolated with 7 in every 10 carers saying they feel lonely when caring.

Who took part in the survey?

212 respondents, 69% Female / 21% Male

8 in 10 carers are aged more than 60 years with more than half of all respondents aged 7

One in every five carers are aged 18 – 40 years

Most respondents live in East Surrey but there was a good proportion of responses from across the country.

About those caring for loved ones…

• 8 in every 10 carers have been caring more than 3 years.

• 7 in every 10 carers are caring for their spouse or partner,14% are caring for a parent and 12% are caring for a child.

• Young carers live within the households of 9% of carers responding to the survey.

• 8 in every 10 carers said that they sometimes or often feel lonely in their caring role.

About the cared-for…

• 7 in 10 carers are looking after someone who is 76 years of age or older.

• 55% of those being cared for are living with Dementia, 35% live with a physical disability, and 22% live with a mental health condition. Under 4% were reported to be requiring palliative or End of Life care.

The care and support carers give…

• 7 in 10 carers provide Personal Care to those they care for (eg. washing, bathing, dressing etc)

• 5 in 10 carers provide help with moving around (eg. walking, stairs)

• 9 in 10 carers provide practical help (eg. preparing meals, household chores)

• 4 in 5 carers arrange or co-ordinate care and support, medical appointments etc

• 3 in 4 carers provide emotional support, motivation or keep an eye on someone either in person or by phone or online.

Caring journeys…

• 1 in every 5 carers see themselves at the first stage of their caring journey and are seeking advice, information, and some practical help here and there.

• 3 in every 10 carers identified themselves as carers (stage 2) and were looking for home help and support (including respite).

• Half of all carers consider themselves a carer (stage 3) and seek specialist support for someone with complex needs, dementia, or a learning disability.

• 6% considered themselves a carer (stage 4) and seek support for palliative / end of life care.

• Just under half of all carers surveyed felt that they should have asked for help earlier.

• Over half of carers considered that access to information and advice, and respite breaks would have been most valuable to them at the start of their caring journey. 2 out of 5 indicated that practical caring support would have been beneficial and 1/3 felt they would have benefitted from signposting to support and care services.

Carers’ primary needs now…

• 6 in 10 carers said they would like more help to look after their own health and wellbeing and more than half of all respondents seek improved access to respite care support services and financial assistance.

• Just over a third of all carers said that better recognition and understanding of the role unpaid carers have in UK society in supporting the NHS, and the economy, is important to them.

Time available for carers to take respite…

4 in every 10 cares responding said they had access to a break from responsibilities for us to half a day a week, while 3 in 10 carers said they were not able to take a break at all.

Carer finances – changes in financial situation of carers since Covid pandemic (March 2020)

• Half of all carers reported that they are spending more on household bills and everyday items than before the pandemic.

• Just under half of all carers reported they are spending more on care and support services – just 7% of respondents said they are spending less.

• Just under half of all carers reported that because of a deterioration in their own health, they have needed to spend more on household expenses, eg. cleaning, help with garden etc.

• 3 in every 10 carers reported spending more on equipment or products for the person they care for.

Employment for carers

• 1 in every 5 carers said they are working carers

• Half of all working carers responding said they wished for more support from their employer through flexible hours, short notice leave and help with finding suitable affordable care

• 1 in every 3 carers trying to balance work with care wanted a greater level of understanding from their line manager to the challenges of caring for a loved one.

What services do carers access?

• 65% benefit from home respite

• 3% End of Life care

• 32% Companionship care

• 6% Befriending calls

• 5% Community outreach support (shopping/prescriptions)

• 3% of carers receive support for a child or young adult with a learning disability

What have carers gained through using our services?

7 in every 10 carers receiving a service have felt an improvement in their confidence and self-esteem with 8 in every 10 carers becoming more resilient

This information is also available in a pdf to download here: Annual Carers Survey 2021 – the highlights.

“Grateful and overwhelmed by the wonderful care that we have both received during this challenging time”.

What our Carers say:

“We have a carer one morning per week, which helps me to meet up with friends for a coffee/shop or catch up with things at home like booking appointment and paperwork. Our professional carer is excellent and has a great relationship with my husband, she is great company as they can share a laugh, especially when playing Scrabble. It makes me feel relieved he enjoys her company, and I can enjoy my time away without worry”