RSAS wanted to find out what people really want from the new services we’re developing for carers of people with dementia. We commissioned the Carers Trust* to conduct an online survey on our behalf, asking a range of questions to help us better understand the experiences, needs and priorities of carers.
Here are some of the survey highlights.
About the caring role
We asked our online respondents who they care – or cared – for. 34.8% cared for a spouse and 51.6% cared for a parent.
55% live with the person they care for.
We asked how much care they provided each week. 40% of respondents provide 24/7 care.
A massive 56% reported having health problems of their own to deal with.
Taking care of themselves
We asked carers how they use their ‘leisure’ time. Carers were able to give multiple responses. Whilst 26% said they were able to take a short break away or a holiday and 41% are able to spend time with family and friends, 58% also said they use their time to catch up on household chores and 32% told us they attend their own medical appointments.
Only 27% said they have time to pamper themselves or have time to do a sporting or craft activity.
57% of carers have been able to attend information sessions relating to dementia of which 96% found the sessions helpful. The types of information they found most helpful were:
- general information about dementia symptoms and progress
- information about how to care for a person with dementia
- information about benefits and other entitlements
- information about other services in their local area
- emotional support
- support from other group members
- information about managing unusual and changing behaviours
We asked carers how they use their time when taking a break from caring. Carers were invited to tick as many option as they wanted. The chart shows the breakdown of the 691 responses.
* The national survey took place between 23 May and 5 July 2016, and was widely promoted through Carers Trust Network Partners, website, Twitter and Facebook; the RSAS expert working group; Dementia Action Alliance; Dementia UK; Age Action Alliance; and the Royal Collage of Psychiatry Memory Service.
A total of 304 carers participated in the online survey, with 248 people responding consistently and comprehensively to the questions. The data analysis is therefore based on the responses of these 248 participants. The majority of respondents were women aged between 40 and 70, and there was good representation from men, people from urban and rural areas, and a range of ethnicities.