The theme of carers was voted the 3rd most important priority for 2018-2019 by Healthwatch members of the public. Having previously carried out a number of projects with a theme of carers this project aims to look at how various areas of people’s lives are affected by having a caring role.
The hope was to help inform service providers in different realms about carer’s specific needs in the hope that a variety of different kinds of providers can consider more carer friendly approaches.
Bolton is thought to have over 30,000 unpaid carers and this project aims to engage with anyone with a caring role.
Throughout this project we spoke to 119 people. Of the people we spoke to and answered the relevant questions:
- 62% of responses came from individuals currently in a caring role
We analysised the data under 8 different domains; housing, education, employment, transport, community, health & support services, technology and respite.
- There were areas where people felt supported as a carer. Examples include local support groups, healthcare workers and services that provide assistance.
- Many people expressed difficulty in managing the physical and mental effects of caring, particularly as this role often lasts many years.
- The challenges people faced due to being a carer were compounded by difficulties in getting respite from their daily roles. There are a variety of reasons here, not all related to what type of formal respite is on offer.
- There is an opportunity to improve awareness of support groups and knowledge about caring. Technology might also be able to play a part, though there should be alternatives for those unable or unwilling to use it.
The report provides details of comments related to specific issues allowing readers to understand how being a carer can influence a variety of daily tasks and interactions.
While there are examples of positive comments, the nature of being a carer, and also the questions asked, has prompted people to provide many critical comments, or examples of when things did not go perfectly.
On the back of the report a number of recommendations have been suggested in particular to Bolton carers Partnership Board.