Despite the challenges they face, unpaid older carers say they are ‘just about coping’ according to For the Moment – a summary of findings from older carers launched to mark Carers Week (7 – 13 June 2021).
Undertaken jointly by Age Cymru and Carers Trust Wales, the survey sought the views from older unpaid carers across Wales who were not in receipt of formal support.
The survey of more than 300 respondents found that although older carers have concerns, 51% said they have not tried to access any support due to not knowing what was available, reluctance to seek help, or not having the time due to work commitments and caring responsibilities. Others said they feel what they do is just a natural part of family life; ‘she’s my wife and I should help her.’
However, some of the older carers said they would like some help with, for example, organising respite care. Others said they’d appreciate emotional support for both themselves and for those for whom they provide care. While some said they felt lucky to have support from friends and family, others reported feelings of exhaustion, abandonment and isolation.
Many of the respondents said they were worried about the future of the person they provided care for while over two thirds said they had concerns about their finances. They also said they wanted easily accessible information to help them plan for the future with 73% saying they would be happy to receive this information online.
Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says: “Covid 19 and its related restrictions have been challenging for all of us but particularly so for carers who have had to cope with all their usual responsibilities but with far less support from both formal and informal sources of care. And with community venues such as libraries, day centres and places of worship closed there has been little opportunity for any respite for carers.
“ It is, therefore, remarkable and a testament to their dedication, that so many carers say they are still just about coping and carrying on with their responsibilities given the challenges they have had to face over the last 15 months.
“I would urge any carers that are struggling, or who may need support, to seek support from charities such as Age Cymru or Carers Trust Wales.”
Kate Cubbage, Head of External Affairs for Carers Trust Wales says: “The COVID19 pandemic has undoubtedly amplified the challenges facing many older carers who have consistently told us that they can struggle to access appropriate information, advice and assistance and to have much needed short breaks and respite from their caring role.
“Today’s research shows that whilst unpaid carers continue to show incredible resilience in difficult circumstances there is more that can and should be done to make sure they get the recognition they deserve and the support they need.”
For more information about the survey or to share your caring experiences please call Andrew Jenkins on 029 2043 1555 or email [email protected].