Highlighting the Burden of Family Care This Carers Week

As Carers Week (June 8-14) approaches, our Chief Operating Officer, Ruth Brown, delivers a powerful message in the June issue of Care Talk magazine, revealing the heavy and often-overlooked burden of family care, especially on women.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges faced by unpaid carers and the significant contributions they make to families and communities across the UK.

Speaking about a very important issue, Ruth Brown says, “At Home Instead, we work alongside many family carers and see the immense pressures they face.

“Last year, we conducted a survey to better understand their experiences, and the findings were eye-opening. 88% of family carers reported neglecting their own health and wellbeing, while 75% said they neglected their careers, and 86% felt guilty about not doing enough for their loved ones.”

The survey also highlighted a significant gender disparity, revealing that women bear a disproportionate share of the caregiving burden. 

Ruth added, “88% of women and 65% of men believe there is a greater expectation on women to meet caregiving responsibilities.

“Furthermore, 84% of women and 66% of men think we need to rethink the role of women as default carers in society.”

To address these issues, we launched our Take Care campaign, aimed at raising awareness and letting family carers know that support is available. 

“One of the key dynamics is that many family carers don’t even recognise themselves as such,” Ruth commented. “Acknowledging their role is the first step to accessing the support they need.”

Ruth’s story resonates with many of us at Home Instead: “When I joined 14 years ago, I was the primary carer for my grandma. Now, I care for my parents, particularly my mum, who has late-stage vascular dementia. This experience is shared by many on our team, who understand firsthand the difficulties of balancing family, career, and caregiving responsibilities.”

At Home Instead, our franchisees and their teams provide care to many families, which means we truly understand the challenges faced by family carers. Working closely with these families, we are dedicated to supporting them and believe that access to home care services can benefit health and wellbeing at home for both the carer and their loved one.

Home Instead calls for a societal shift in caregiving roles to ensure a more equitable distribution of responsibilities. “Our ageing parents and our siblings would benefit from this change,” Ruth added. “We need a broader conversation about what needs to change to make this happen.”

For more insights from the Take Care campaign, you can read the June issue of Care Talk here: https://www.caretalk.co.uk/latest-issue/