We have published our report, ‘Tackling the cost of living emergency for unpaid carers in North Lanarkshire’, making robust recommendations for immediate and accessible financial supports and improved access to wider financial and social care supports to mitigate the most severe cost of living impacts on carers.
Our cost of living consultation with carers has shown the extent of financial stress being faced by carer households across our communities. The findings reflect that high levels of deprivation are being experienced by carers and the people they care for, with access to necessities including housing, food, warmth, and access to services all being heavily affected.
Some key findings from our survey, conducted in late November and throughout December, are:
- 79% of carers are struggling to meet essential household fuel bills
- 69% of carers are struggling to meet food costs
- 25% of carers are struggling to meet housing costs
Crucially, 84% of carers said their mental health was being negatively impacted upon by financial pressures.
Carers have been cutting back on essentials for themselves to try to reduce the impact of cost of living increases on those they care for. The impacts of these cutbacks include:
- 45% of carers cutting back on meals for themselves
- 39% of carers cutting back on toiletries for themselves
- 85% of carers being forced to stop socialising due to costs, increasing levels of isolation
The impact on people being cared for
People being cared for were shown via findings to be negatively impacted, included in the following ways:
- 19% of carers have been forced to cut back on providing meals for people they care for
- 62% of carers have had to cut back on heating in a way that negatively impacts the people they care for
- 70% of carers have had to cut back on accessing support groups and/or socialising for the people they care for
The severity of the impact of the cost of living emergency on carers and the people they care for cannot be underestimated.
We have therefore made robust recommendations for immediate, additional support to be provided to carers by Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire in tandem with other agencies and services in the Community and Voluntary Sector, and North Lanarkshire Council teams.
‘We asked, You said, We did’
Our cost of living emergency campaign embodies our ‘We asked, You said, We did’ promise to carers as the commissioned campaigning and representation service for unpaid carers in North Lanarkshire. The publication of this report will be followed by a social media campaign highlighting the impacts on carers, people they care for and our recommendations for support for carers from our statutory partners.
Read our full recommendations and full report on ‘Tackling the cost of living emergency for unpaid carers in North Lanarkshire’ including all findings, commentary on deprivation, carers’ human rights, safeguarding systems to safeguard our people, and the crucial steps we must take to prevent an entrenched cost of living legacy for unpaid carers in North Lanarkshire.