Carers UK and Jo Cox Foundation, 2017
The report was published as part of Carers UK’s work with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness – a year long Commission looking at the causes of loneliness and the steps we can all take to address it.
The research found that greater understanding from friends, colleagues, and the public, as well as more opportunities for breaks and social activities, are all needed to combat a ‘silent epidemic’ of loneliness affecting those providing support to ill, older or disabled loved ones.
More than 8 in 10 (81%) surveyed unpaid carers described themselves as “lonely or socially isolated” due to their caring responsibilities, with those affected facing a potentially damaging impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. The report suggests that current carers who have not felt lonely were less likely to suffer mental (42%) and physical (35%) ill-health compared to those who did. Carers who had felt lonely or isolated were almost twice as likely to report worsened mental (77%) and physical (67%) health.