Carers Scotland is calling for the efforts of the one million carers to be recognised
Unpaid carers save Scotland a staggering £43 million every day, a new study has claimed.
The research, released by Carers Scotland to mark Carers Rights Day, estimates that the care provided by people looking after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends during the pandemic stands at £10.9 billion so far, after just eight months.
Previous research by the charity found that the majority (87%) of carers in Scotland have been taking on more care since the start of the pandemic and 77% said they are exhausted and worn out as a result.
Carers Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to provide additional support for carers in Scotland over winter and ensure that services that support them in their caring role are reinstated as soon as possible – or provide alternatives. The charity also continues to call for additional financial support to be provided directly to carers to recognise the significant financial pressures that the pandemic has placed upon them.
With many crucial face-to-face support services such as day centres and support groups significantly reduced – or in many cases closed – because of costly infection and control measures, Carers Scotland is warning that people caring round the clock are going to break down after months of caring without a break.
Simon Hodgson, director of Carers Scotland, said: “Many carers in Scotland are at breaking point and it is vital that the Scottish Government and local partnerships ensure that services they need to sustain caring and their health and wellbeing – are reinstated as soon as possible.
We recognise the specific challenges of the pandemic but are clear that, where it is not possible to reinstate traditional services, alternatives should always be offered to ensure that carers do not continue to feel they have been left to struggle on alone.
“The Scottish Government must acknowledge the enormous contribution made by carers during this pandemic – the value of which is a staggering £43 million every single day - and prioritise their health, wellbeing and resilience this winter.”
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government provided an additional and welcome coronavirus payment through Carers Allowance Supplement but carers continue to struggle. The charity is calling for the Scottish Government to build on this to provide additional financial support directly to carers to help them manage the higher costs of caring in winter.