Millions of Brits acting as unofficial, unpaid ‘carers’ to someone outside of their home12/02/2021
Care: Research shows a quarter of UK adults are carers
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More than half (56 percent) believe looking after a loved one has essentially left them with two full-time jobs.
Caring for someone can be simultaneously one of the most fulfilling things you could ever do, but also one of the most challenging
Jo Whiley, radio DJ and campaigner
But nine in ten consider it a moral obligation to ensure bills are paid, homes are clean and shopping gets done for the person they look after.
DJ and campaigner Jo Whiley, who champions support for those who give and receive care, has teamed up with Carers UK and Smart Energy GB, to highlight a series of time-saving hacks to make things a little bit easier for carers.
The list of hacks identifies simple things like getting a smart meter installed for the person you look after to make energy management easier, as well as planning meals or installing video doorbells.
Jo Whiley said: “Caring for someone can be simultaneously one of the most fulfilling things you could ever do, but also one of the most challenging.
“We have highlighted some quick and easy ways to save time and effort, so carers can worry less about their to-do list and spend more time doing what really matters – enjoying being with the ones they love.
“It’s really simple things that many people in that situation don’t realise could help you do both.”
On average, adults in the position of unpaid carer put in 27 hours per week on top of their own work or family commitments.
But one in ten puts in a staggering 66 hours or longer – and as a result, unsurprisingly, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) find it hard to make time for themselves.
Of those polled, as many as 89 percent consider their extra-curricular caring to be a “core part” of their lives.
Despite the challenges they face, three-quarters believe caring for someone has been the most rewarding thing they’ve ever done.
One in three respondents are looking after someone who is elderly, while 26 percent care for a person with a physical disability.
Their main “jobs” are to go shopping (70 percent), clean homes (64 percent) and simply provide companionship (63 percent).
Just under half (49 percent) help with transport, while one in three manage bills and other payments.
And of those who juggle work and care, nearly half (49 percent) believe they should be given time away from their day jobs to help with their caring schedule, according to the OnePoll data.
Phillippa Brown from Smart Energy GB added: “Whether you consider yourself a carer or not, anyone who is regularly taking time out of their day to help someone else is doing an absolutely vital job, and one it’s important to make as easy as possible.
“Those with caring responsibilities are often working the equivalent to a full-time job, and so it can sometimes be easy to lose track of the smaller tasks.
“Getting a smart meter installed at the home of someone you look after can help you both, as it means you no longer have to remember to submit meter readings and ensures that bills are accurate.
“This lets you cross energy management off the list for good, and makes dealing with bills easier for everyone.”
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