Social care: provision
This chapter presents results about the provision of unpaid social care by adults aged 16 and over. This is defined as help or support provided to someone because of longterm physical or mental ill-health, a disability or problems relating to old age. It excludes any help given in a professional capacity or as part of a job.
- 17% of adults provided unpaid help or support to other people, with women more likely than men to do so (20% and 14% respectively).
- Prevalence of providing unpaid care was lowest among those in higher income households (11-13% of men, 17-20% of women in the highest two quintiles), and increased with decreasing income (16-17% of men, 23% of women in the lowest two quintiles).
- Care was most commonly provided to a parent; nearly half of adults who provided care did this (49%). Men were more likely than women to provide help or support for a spouse or partner, with just under a fifth doing so (19%, compared with 12% of women). Help to other categories of family members, neighbours and friends was provided by under 10% in each case.
- Adults who provided unpaid care were asked whether their own health had been affected in the last three months by the care they had provided. More men than women said that caring had not had any impact on their health (59% and 47% respectively). The most common effects were feeling tired (31% of unpaid carers), a general feeling of stress (29%), disturbed sleep (22%) or feeling short tempered (20%).
- Adults up to the age of 64 were asked about whether their caring had had any impact on their employment, and most reported that it had not (81% of men, 78% of women). The most frequently mentioned impact was to be working fewer hours (7% of men and 8% of women).