Annual survey lays bare the cost of the broken social care system for unpaid family carers
Survey results published today by The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) provide the latest proof that Britain’s broken social care system is placing unbearable levels of pressure on millions of unpaid carers looking after their sick and disabled relatives.
Each year the survey of directors of adult social care services for local authorities provides a comprehensive snapshot of the pressures impacting on social care, as well as its providers and those dependent on social care.
This year the survey found that unpaid carers are being left to address shortages in health and social care support, often to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. 91% of directors strongly agree or agree that unpaid carers in their area have been coming forward with an increased level of need over the past 12 months.
More than two thirds of Directors responding to the survey also reported an increase in the number of unpaid carers experiencing breakdown as a result of the intense pressure of their caring roles. The survey found that factors most commonly leading to breakdown among unpaid carers are burnout, lack of access to health support and the struggle to find the right support services.
Responding to the ADASS survey findings, Carers Trust’s Executive Director of Programmes and Impact, Rohati Chapman, said:
“These findings should come as a shock in 21st century Britain. But tragically they will come as no surprise at all for unpaid carers who have been left to pick up the pieces of the UK’s broken social care system.
“As the survey shows, all too often Directors of Adult Social Care Services are left with inadequate budget to provide even the most basic services. And it’s unpaid family carers who are left unsupported to deal with the consequences. This social care crisis is hugely impacting on adult carers, but also hundreds of thousands of young carers who are caring for parents who cannot get the support they require. All too often they are left with no option but to give up paid work, education, or simply a life of their own, so they can care for sick and disabled relatives who would otherwise have little or no support.
This is why urgent cross-Government action is so desperately needed; action which includes both immediate and long-term steps including a national Carers Strategy to fix the social care crisis and provide a fair deal for unpaid carers of all ages.”