The annual survey of UK carers found people looking after loved ones have little faith in their lifestyles improving
Half of people providing unpaid care for a loved one expects their quality of life to get worse in the next 12 months, according to Carers UK.
The organisation surveyed 7,000 people across the UK and found just 8% of carers expect their life to improve in the next year.
Only one in 10 people said they were confident the support they receive and rely upon will continue.
The findings are published in the annual Carers UK State of Caring Report 2018.
It found that 78% of carers are female. Three quarters of carers in Scotland said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring – the highest in the UK.
Carers Allowance is one of the benefits that is being devolved to Scotland this year and the Scottish Government has announced that it will increase from £62.70 a week to £73.10 a week.
However, the research found that for one in seven carers (15%), either them or those they care for received less support from care services during the previous year due to a reduction in the amount of support from social services, a service closing without being replaced or an increase in costs.
The survey also found only 38% of carers are in paid work, and half of those work part-time.
A third of carers have been caring for 15 years or more and nearly half (47%) provide 90 or more hours of caring each week.
Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, said:“The care provided by unpaid carers in the UK is worth an estimated £132 billion per year – more than the NHS’s annual budget in England.
“Despite the fact that the NHS and social care sector rely heavily on family and friends, we know that carers feel devastatingly undervalued and unsupported. Our research shows that carers are becoming increasingly fearful about coping in the future due to services they rely on being cut and a general lack of support.”
The organisation says there is an urgent need for access to affordable, high-quality care services, financial support, regular breaks from caring and stronger workplace rights to support people to combine work and care if they wish to.