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Portsmouth’s Unpaid Carers Set to Triple Amid Mental Health Concerns

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Portsmouth, recognised for its dynamic community spirit, is on the brink of a significant social care and wellbeing challenge. The upcoming decade foresees the number of unpaid carers in the city tripling, intensifying the pressures on families and individuals already grappling with other life commitments.

A collaborative study by Portsdown View Care Home, a renowned Havant-based care facility, and the Later Living Marketplace, Lottie, brings to light the startling projection of a 277% increase in Portsmouth residents assuming caregiving roles within the next decade. This suggests that over one-fourth of the city’s inhabitants will soon find themselves caring for elderly family members, all while managing work, childcare, and other personal responsibilities.

Moreover, data from Lottie indicates a rising need for wellbeing support among carers. A significant uptick in online searches related to ‘carer burnout’ (84% rise), ‘carer stress’ (55% surge), and ‘parent carer burnout’ (33% growth) in the past year underscores the mental and emotional toll caregiving is taking on individuals.

Recent announcements have further dampened spirits. Despite earlier promises, government funding meant to bolster the social care sector and its workforce has been slashed by half. This calls for urgent intervention to address the burgeoning caregiving crisis in Portsmouth and its neighbouring regions, both on the emotional and financial fronts.

Portsdown View Care Home’s research also highlights the following concerning trends for the Southeast:

  • Portsmouth will be among the most affected regions.
  • The forthcoming decade will see a 277% rise in unpaid carers in the city.
  • Over 25% of Portsmouth’s residents will take on caregiving duties.
  • The financial burden on Portsmouth’s unpaid carers averages £2,294 annually (£191.15 monthly), even after considering the Carer’s Allowance.

Regional Breakdown of Unpaid Carers by 2031

Location% Increase in Unpaid CarersNumber of Carers
Portsmouth277%More than a quarter
Havant258%About a third
Gosport251%Roughly a third
Fareham307%Slightly over a third

Lottie’s co-founder and care expert, Will Donnelly, articulates the profound implications of an inadequate social care system on both carers and the seniors they care for. He notes the alarming rise in online searches by concerned carers and emphasises the greater susceptibility of unpaid carers to burnout, isolation, and mental health challenges. With a £193 billion contribution from unpaid carers to the UK’s social care annually, their pivotal role in the nation’s healthcare system cannot be overlooked.

Donnelly concludes by stressing the ever-increasing importance of local support and resources, especially given the predicted surge in Portsmouth’s carer numbers. He advocates for robust investments in local support networks and adequate resource allocation to carers, ensuring their well-being and the best care for their loved ones.

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