We regularly carry out a survey of carers registered with us to get an idea of the caring situation in Hertfordshire and to compare to the national picture. Our last survey was in 2022.
We carried out a survey with current and former carers living, working or caring in Hertfordshire, between August and October 2022 to find out about the caring situation in the county. We are grateful to the 2,077 carers and former carers who responded to our survey for adult carers and the 345 young carers aged up to 19 who completed our Young Carers’ Survey.
The survey revealed that an increasing number of people are caring for more hours a week – in excess of 20, and even 90 hours.
Many of the carers and former carers who responded – 3 in 5 carers (60%) were struggling with making ends meet or worried about their finances and an increasing number are cutting back on essentials (32% up from 29% in 2018).
A summary of the findings is below and there is further detail in the themed reports:
89% of people who completed our survey said they were caring for someone.
Just under a third of respondents (31%) had been caring from between one and four years. 25% of respondents had been caring for 15 years or more.
22% of carers looked after more than one generation.
The top three groups of people that respondents said they cared for were spouse or partner (42%) son/daughter or in-law (32%) and parent/parent-in-law (29%). Other relationships included aunt, uncle and friend.
Hours spent caring a week
Other places included a hospice, with another relative or supported living accommodation.
• 1 in 5 carers and former carers (20%) said their physical and mental health was bad or very bad. 36% rated it as good or very good.
• A fifth (20%) of carers have missed health appointments.
• Over half (56%) of respondents felt they didn’t have enough time away from caring.
• A quarter of people who completed the survey (25%) said services don’t meet their needs, which is a barrier to them having a break.
• A worrying 29% of respondents said they were unaware of services that could help them in their caring role, particularly to support them in having a break.
• An increasing number of carers and former carers reported feeling lonely – 53%, up from 37% in 2018.
• A third of carers said they had been close to, or had, a breakdown.
• 45% said they weren’t getting enough sleep compared to 33% of young carers.
• 60% of respondents were worried about their finances.