This week is Carers Week, and carers are being encouraged to look after their own mental health and wellbeing, as well look after those that they care for. Those who provide than 50 hours a week care are more than twice as likely to be in bad health as non-carers. 72% of carers in the UK have said that they suffered mental ill health, such as depression or stress as a result of caring.
Over half of carers in the UK said they expect their physical and mental health and well-being to get worse in the next two years and two in five carers said that they expect to be able to provide less care or no care in the future because of poor physical health.
In Wallasey, 11,127 people provide unpaid care and within Wallasey, Leasowe and Moreton East has the highest percentage of residents saying they provide 50 hours or more of unpaid care.
The contribution of unpaid carers to our society is so important, not only to those they care for, but to the NHS. Unpaid carers provide care worth an estimated £56.9 billion a year, and the millions unpaid carers across the country deserve more support.
The Government has repeatedly delayed finding a solution to the long-term funding of social care. Their Carers Action Plan, published in June, contains very little action despite the urgent need for support through better-funded social care. After eight years of cuts to council budgets, there is a £6.3 billion hole in social care funding and 400,000 fewer people are receiving publicly funded care. The Government’s continued cuts and austerity measures continue to place additional pressure on unpaid carers.
This is why I’m supporting Carers Week 2018, and supporting calls to invest an additional £8 billion in social care across the next parliament and raising Carers’ Allowance for full-time unpaid carers in line with Job Seeker’s Allowance.