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Carers Rights Day took place on the 21st of November and Carers UK used the day to highlight their new study into the state of caring in the UK.

The study shows that an estimated 65% of adults will care for a loved one in their lifetime. By the time they are aged 46, half of women will have been a carer. Men have the same 50/50 chance by the age of 57.

Here in Wiltshire we estimate that around 10% of the population are currently carers, although in reality this number is likely to be higher as many people don’t recognise themselves as carers.

Other significant findings are that over half of carers (55%) take over a year to recognise their caring role. Parent carers looking after a disabled or seriously ill child are even less likely to identify immediately as carers, with 65% taking over a year and 34% taking over 5 years to identify their caring role. The impact of this is that many will be missing out on financial and practical support available to them. 43% of carers said that missing out on support has led them to give up work in order to care.

Carers were found to be seven times more likely to always or often feel lonely compared with the general population. Over half (54%) of the population say they are never or hardly ever lonely, compared with just 1 in 6 (18%) of unpaid carers.

If you, or someone you know, hasn’t had a carer’s assessment, do get in touch with us. Our helpline is open to registered carers for support and advice during our office hours so do call us if there’s anything you’d like to talk over.

Our website lists regular events for carers where you can go to meet other carers, share experiences and just do something for yourself for an hour or two. We also offer regular complementary therapies, such as massage – also listed on our events page – and carers can have three of these a year.

We launched our Returners Programme earlier this year, which is helping carers back to work. This can help with all of the things that can be difficult when you’ve been out of work for a while, including CV writing, interview tips and skills training. We can also advise on your employment rights, including flexible working.

Do make sure you are getting everything you’re entitled to, especially if you haven’t had contact with us for a while or your circumstances have changed.