1.3 million people in the UK are known as a ‘sandwich carers’ – those who have the dual responsibility of caring for sick, disabled or elderly relatives, as well as their own children.
More than a quarter of ‘sandwich carers’ are now reported to be suffering from depression and anxiety, according to new figures released from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Those carers are also struggling financially, with one in three saying they are ‘just about getting by’ financially, while one in ten are ‘finding it difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to cope.
Hugh Stickland, Head of Strategy and Engagement at ONS, said: “This affects more women than men, with women more likely to feel restricted in how much they can work alongside looking after older, sick or disabled relatives and children. The well-being of sandwich carers is varied, with parents who spend less than five hours a week looking after older, sick or disabled relatives seeing slightly higher health and life satisfaction compared with the general population. “However, those who spend more time caring show lower levels of health and life satisfaction and are more likely to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety.”
Mental Ill-health Prevalence
The prevalence of mental ill-health has been found to increase with the amount of care given. More than a third of sandwich carers providing at least 20 hours of adult care per week report symptoms of mental ill-health, compared with 23 per cent of those providing fewer than five hours each week. One in four report health problems, relationship troubles and isolation among the difficulties also related to their caring role.
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, added: “Given these pressures it is no surprise that more than a quarter of sandwich carers report symptoms of mental ill-health, and that this increases with the amount of care provided. As well as impacting on carers’ health and wellbeing, the strain also takes its toll on their ability to work – more than two million people have given up work to care for older or disabled relatives.
“It is vital that the Government provides ambitious proposals for the funding and delivery of adult social care in the upcoming Green Paper – proposals that better support older and disabled people, giving the sandwich generation the ability to better manage work and caring responsibilities. It must ensure that they receive practical and financial support to care without putting their own lives on hold.”
How Everyday Can Support You
EveryDay can provide respite care to carers through our three wellbeing centres located across North Tyneside.
To obtain a free and confidential benefit check or to book a free taster session give our friendly Customer Service Team a call Tel: 0191 2877028
Useful Links :
Age UK North Tyneside Information & Advice https://www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside/our-services/information-and-advice/
Wellbeing Centres in North Tyneside https://www.everydayuk.org/wellbeing/