Volunteer family carers not appreciated by government, new poll shows


Those who provide unpaid care for loved ones are not appreciated enough, according to a new poll. Carers in the UK are the same as caregivers in the USA.

The online poll was designed to find what the public thinks about carers. It was run by the Multiple Sclerosis Society which says the major findings are:

  • More than 7 in 10 (74%) feel carers aren’t valued enough by society for the support they provide. This rises to 83% for those who have experience of caring.
  • The cost of care and its impact on people’s finances is the top worry for people who’ve never had a caring experience (47%). Coping with the stress of caring is the second biggest worry (43%)
  • Nearly a third (32%) who’ve never cared for someone said they would worry they didn’t have the skills or experience to become a carer.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of those who’ve never cared said they wouldn’t know or understand what help would be available if they became a carer.

According to the society’s website: “These findings are really worrying, as we know people with MS receive a huge amount of support from family or friends.

“Our recent report on social care and the MS community in England showed 85% of people with MS received some level of unpaid care, support or assistance from family and friends in 2016.

“More than a third (36%) of people who need support told us they rely solely on unpaid care,” it said.

Care for the carers

MS Society chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “More than 100,000 people in the UK live with MS, and we know that unpaid carers make a world of difference in helping people manage this unpredictable condition.

“We know that caring can be really difficult though, and more can be done to better recognise and support them. That’s why we’re joining other charities to urge our new government to set out its plan for how support for carers can be improved.”

Some chance! Based on the despicable record of the last government, I won’t hold my breath waiting for improvements for carers.

The new UK government is led by the same Conservative party. A party which is without care or compassion.

Disability welfare benefits were cut by the last government. There is no sign of any change of heart. The only glimmer of hope is that, under prime minister Theresa May, the Conservatives no longer have an absolute majority. There is just a chance they can be outvoted in the House of Commons.

We live in hope.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Medical News Today. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.


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