A report said that carers were an important asset to the National Health Service, as well as to the people for whom they provided care. It outlined commitments to support carers, based on findings from a series of engagement events.
Source: NHS England's Commitment for Carers, NHS England
A report said that insufficient support from health and social care services left carers feeling isolated, burnt-out, and unable to look after their own health. It said that a survey of carers in the United Kingdom had found that 6 in 10 had reached 'breaking point', and that 63 per cent of carers suffered depression and 79 per cent reported anxiety, with 45 per cent of carers having reported that their financial circumstances were affecting their health. The report made a range of recommendations.
Source: Carers at Breaking Point, Carers UK
A report examined men's experiences of caring, the impact on their lives, and the support services that they identified as beneficial and accessible to them.
Source: Kirsty Slack and Moira Fraser, Husband, Partner, Dad, Son, Carer? A survey of the experiences and needs of male carers, Carers Trust
A report examined findings from a research project that explored the importance and use of carer's allowance (CA), the relationship of carers with the labour market, and potential impacts of possible reform of the allowance. It said that, for some carers, CA was an important part of household income, supporting both everyday expenditure and the additional costs incurred. The majority of carers did not see CA as separate from any other source of household income, and it had a high symbolic value for carers. The relationship between caring and the labour market was found to be varied and often complex and a large group of carers would like to have paid work, but could not see how that would be possible in the near future.
Source: Gillian Parker, Caroline Glendinning, Anne Corden, Annie Irvine, and Sue Clarke, Household Finances of Carer's Allowance Recipients, Research Report 875, Department for Work and Pensions
A report examined the outcome of the first five years of the Kinship Care Service, an advice provision service in Scotland that aimed to help extended families to take over caring roles when parents could no longer care for children.
Source: In the Family Way: Five years of caring for Kinship Carers in Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland
A report examined the experiences and perceptions of young adult carers who were in further and higher education, including those at sixth form college. It said that many young adult carers went on to college or university but experienced considerable difficulties (such as lateness or absence, balancing their responsibilities, and a high prevalence of self-reported mental health problems), and many considered dropping out because of their caring role. The report said that over three quarters of the young adult carers in this study had communicated their caring role to their college or university, but nearly half (45 per cent) still felt that no one there recognized them as a carer and helped them. Outside of the education setting, the report said only a minority had received a formal assessment of their needs in their caring roles and almost one-third (30 per cent) reported that their family was not receiving good services and support. The report concluded that young adult carers required support in order to be able to participate fully in education, and that colleges and universities needed to improve their response for carers.
Source: Joe Sempik and Saul Becker, Young Adult Carers at College and University, Carers Trust
An article examined the quality of life of informal carers in England and the support that they, or the person for whom they cared, received. It said that social care support, access to services, the experience of stigma in communities, and the negotiation of needs within decisions about care could all have an impact on quality of life.
Source: Stacey Rand and Juliette Malley, 'Carers' quality of life and experiences of adult social care support in England', Health and Social Care in the Community, Volume 22 Issue 4
A report examined the experiences and perceptions of young adult carers. It said that in 2011 there were over 375,000 young adult carers (aged 14-25) in the United Kingdom who were providing support and assistance to families and friends. It said that a survey of 77 young adult carers who had left school and were either in work, or were not in education, employment, or training, had found a range of difficulties, including that: 45 per cent reported that their own physical health was 'just OK' or 'poor', and over half reported having a mental health problem; over half (54 per cent) felt that they would have got better grades at school if it was not for their caring role; of the 38 respondents who had been to college or university, 11 had dropped out because of their caring role; employment choices, and ability to build a good attendance record, were restricted by their caring role, and employers were not always supportive; and there was evidence to suggest that many more would be eligible to claim benefits (or more benefits) than were already doing.
Source: Joe Sempik and Saul Becker, Young Adult Carers and Employment, Carers Trust
An article examined the role of older people as carers. It said that the work of older caregivers was more intensive – caring for longer hours, and providing more co-residential and personal care – and there was likely to be a greater need for assistance.
Source: Fiona Carmichael and Marco Ercolani, 'Overlooked and undervalued: the caring contribution of older people', International Journal of Social Economics, Volume 41 Issue 5
An article compared the probability of receiving formal and informal care from household members and from others in England, Spain, and the United States of America – three countries with different family structures, living arrangements, and policies supporting the care of people with incapacities.
Source: Aida Sole-Auro and Eileen Crimmins, 'Who cares? A comparison of informal and formal care provision in Spain, England and the USA', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 3
A report examined the impact on employers and employees of caring for someone with dementia. It discussed the support needs of carers, a lack of awareness of existing provision provided by employers, the need of carers for information about available care and support services, and a general need for more, and specialist, care and support for people in different stages of dementia. The report made recommendations.
Source: Supporting Employees who are Caring for Someone with Dementia, Carers UK
An article examined how the timing of parental divorce within a child's lifecourse influenced the obligations they felt to care for their parents later in life. It said that midlife experiences of parental divorce, as well as deteriorating relationships between non-separated parents, weakened adult children's relationships with their parents. The article considered how this might impact on future willingness to provide care.
Source: Joanna Sage, Maria Evandrou, and Jane Falkingham, 'The timing of parental divorce and filial obligations to care for ageing parents', Families, Relationships and Societies, Volume 3 Number 1
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for additional, funded early learning and childcare, for every child and young person to have a named person from birth responsible for safeguarding their well-being, for the extension of the upper age limit for young people leaving care, and for kinship carers to be provided with more support from local authorities.
Source: Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Scottish Parliament, TSO
An article examined differences in work restrictions of mid-life family carers of older people in 6 European countries (including the United Kingdom). Work restrictions were relatively high in the UK.
Source: Andrea Principi, Giovanni Lamura, Cristina Sirolla, Liz Mestheneos, Barbara Bien, Jayne Brown, Barbro Krevers, Maria Gabriella Melchiorre, and Hanneli Dohner, 'Work restrictions experienced by midlife family care-givers of older people: evidence from six European countries', Ageing and Society, Volume 34 Issue 2 publication
A report examined the costs of caring and the impact for carers of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. It outlined a wide range of costs incurred by carers across the United Kingdom, noting the dual impact of loss of earnings and rising household costs, as well as a range of impacts for those who combined work with caring responsibilities. It said that carers reported losing benefits as a result of changes in council tax, housing benefit and income support. The report said that the introduction of personal independence payments posed risks to their receipt of carer's allowance, as a result of eligibility changes for the people for whom they cared. It made a range of recommendations to improve the financial situation and work flexibility of carers, as well as for an urgent cumulative impact assessment of the impact of the Act, and for carers' financial needs to be considered within the National Carers Strategy.
Source: Caring and Family Finances Inquiry – UK report, Carers UK
An article examined carer empowerment – an issue which it said was characterized by considerable conceptual confusion over key terms, and by limited understanding of the meaning and outcomes of carer empowerment. Despite increased national acknowledgment of carers, many remained 'invisible' and received little support from services, to the detriment of their own health and well-being.
Source: Mary Larkin and Alisoun Milne, 'Carers and empowerment in the UK: a critical reflection', Social Policy and Society, Volume 13 Issue 1