Wigan carers feeling the strain with fatigue, sleep deprivation and stress, survey finds

Caring is taking a toll on Wigan residents
Caring is taking a toll on Wigan residents

Most carers looking after vulnerable adults in Wigan are tired, losing sleep and stressed, figures reveal.

Carers Trust says the latest NHS survey results show carers “in crisis”, with a significant increase in the number of those feeling depressed and physical strain.

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Every two years, the health service asks thousands of adults in England about their unpaid roles supporting people over the age of 18 who are ill, disabled or elderly.

The latest survey, which covers 2018-19, attracted 50,800 responses.

Of the 340 respondents in Wigan, 82 per cent reported their responsibilities leave them feeling tired – the most common health complaint. This was up from 81 per cent in 2016-17.

Seven in 10 adults said caring also gave them disturbed sleep, while 65 per cent feel stressed. Only 4.7 per cent of respondents said caring has no impact on their health.

Carers Trust, a charity which supports unpaid carers, urged the Government to help “cash-strapped” councils fund social care.

Chief executive Giles Meyer said: “Once again, we’re hearing from unpaid carers that they are in crisis – they’re not sleeping, they’re worrying about how they’ll make ends meet and some are having to care 100 hours a week or more for a relative.

“And these NHS Digital survey findings echo what we are hearing time and time again from carers supported by Carers Trust local services across England.

“The reasons for this are well documented. Even when carers are able to get an assessment of their needs, far too few of them actually receive the services that will support them in return for all they do.

“Carers are also having to do more for the person they care for because there aren’t enough social care services for disabled people or older people.”

In Wigan, pressures surrounding caring caused “a lot” of financial difficulties for nine per cent of those surveyed.