A Guide to Supporting Family Carers

Over 5 million unpaid family carers are at breaking point, feeling unsupported, under-appreciated and under pressure.

With the ageing population also comes an increasing need for care, resulting in over 5 million people in England and Wales providing unpaid care to their relatives daily.

Home Instead Research

In 2023, Home Instead carried out some research into family carers to get a grasp on the updated figures compared to the Office for National Statistics 2021 Census. We wanted to explore the issue in more detail and understand the pressures that families can find themselves under.

We surveyed 2000 family caregivers and the results we found were shocking.

Our findings discovered that most family carers tend to be middle-aged balancing looking after their elderly parents alongside raising their own families and working full-time. This is unsustainable as these carers find themselves under intense emotional, professional, and personal strain.

We understand that support within the community positively impacts not only the client receiving care but also their entire family. We want to raise awareness of the issue to reassure families that they are not alone, that community support is available and that it’s OK to ask for help.

Our Findings

Millions of carers across the UK are in very stressful situations and often feel isolated and don’t know who to turn to for help and support.

Many are finding life very difficult due to their lack of awareness and a limited understanding of the social care market.

• 88% feel they are neglecting their own health and wellbeing
• 86% say they feel guilty about not doing enough for their parents
• 75% worry about neglecting their careers
• 65% admit to struggling with their mental health

In the Southwest, there were some increasingly concerning figures released with 51% of people admitting that their marriage/relationship has been negatively impacted and a worrying 21% stating that they are now at breaking point.

Caring for someone day in, day out, can make you feel as though there is no end in sight. When your loved one’s condition is likely to get worse over time, it’s no surprise that 39% say that they are expecting to be in this situation for the next five years or more.

Getting Local Support in the Community

No family carer needs to go about the journey alone. It’s not just about finding the care that’s right for them, but also about finding an organisation or professionals who have dealt with many situations like this before and can resonate with what you are going through.

Age UK: all aspects of being a family caregiver, from personal well-being to financial help, is supported by Age UK.

Social prescribers: you can access a social prescriber through your GP who can help you to create a support plan where you’ll be directed to activities, groups or services in your local area to help you with the issues you’re facing.

Condition-related support: more complex medical conditions such as Dementia and Parkinson’s have support services in your local area. You will be able to meet like-minded people and receive tailored support through these groups.

Re-engage: these groups allow older people to expand their social circles by putting on events, enabling family caregivers to have some time off now and again.

At Home Instead, we have extensive knowledge regarding local support and resources and have helped many families through crises such as these. We are eager to provide our guidance, support and direction to connect you with the necessary resources.

We aim to increase awareness of what help is available and guidance on how you can access it.

There has been a noticeable spike in enquiries about our services in recent months, indicating a growing trend of individuals seeking private healthcare support beyond state-provided social care.

How We Can Help You

Allow us to help you. Home Instead Exeter and East Devon provide a range of care services including personal care, specialist care, live-in care, home help, companionship and much more. Care is not always an easy topic, but we can help you make the right decision for you and your loved ones, relieving you of the pressure and stress that you are feeling.

Learn about our Take Care campaign, spotlighted by the Daily Mail, which highlights the unseen struggles of family caregivers. You may want to have a box of tissues to hand.

Our services are rated outstanding in all five areas of inspection by the CQC, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that your family members are in the most capable hands.
Help is never far away. Call us on 01395 200600 or email [email protected] to discover how we can assist.