The number of unpaid carers in the UK has nearly doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an estimated 130,000 now providing care in Devon.
An unpaid carer is someone who gives their time to support a family member, friend, or neighbour. This may be due to an illness, condition, frailty, disability, COVID-19, or post hospital care. It could be on a regular basis or occasionally.
National research estimates that over 50,000 carers in Devon are at risk of breakdown at any one time, 96,200 feel exhausted and over 45,000 say they feel unable to manage their caring role. There’s no question that unpaid carers play a vital role, the value of their work in Devon has been estimated at £1.6 billion per year, that's over £20,000 per carer.
Early identification and support of unpaid carers not only improves the lives and situations of the carer as well as the person they look after, but it can also help avoid unsustainable pressure on public services and finances.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, please get in touch with Devon Carers, they offer a range of specialist support from a listening ear to advice on finances and emergency planning.
Visit the Devon Carers website or call 01392 307720.