• Joe Legate

#34 | Results from 3rd March

Here are the results from yesterday’s Mobilise Moments poll.

What about the impact?

Yesterday we asked: How would you describe the impact (if any) of caring on your finances?

A very different question yesterday, and the first of its type. An open ended question for you to complete with whatever came to mind. We've not compiled any statistical analysis of the responses, but you can see some clear themes which you can find below.

N.B. some quotes have been amended to protect the writers identity, to pull out a salient point or to correct spelling and grammar.

Jobs and careers

A wide range of impacts was seen, but our jobs and careers seem to nearly always be impacted.

I gave up a very good job and have never taken another, as I am a full time carer for my long-term disabled mother.
I left my career in London. It was a decade before I could think about returning, around my caring role.
Had to work part-time due to my caring responsibilities, then made redundant because I couldn’t be flexible. So [I've] gone from low income to no income.
I feel guilty for working when I should be caring full-time, but Carers Allowance is so low I cannot pay the bills.

Increased Costs

We face increased costs in our caring role, that typically need to be funded on a more limited income than we might have faced before our caring role started.

I have an agency carer four hours [per] week and my husband goes to a day centre once a week. The AA pays for some of this. I am also buying increasing quantities of incontinence equipment. These are extra expenses that have to be factored into my budget.
lots gets damaged and needs replacing [versus] regular kids and [we have] lots of additional expense to pay to have to go with her on transport/outings etc.
There are a lot of extras to pay for: pads, creams, special diet and additional heating costs (central heating needs to be on day and night).

It is a struggle

Debt and poverty are very real concerns for some of us and can lead to hardship.

Leaves me in the poverty-line as [I'm] unable to work and living off inheritance
Devastating, no savings... remain both bankrupted and struggling to stay out of further debt
Massive major impact. We had to move onto benefits, our savings took a nose dive, we had our home and car repossessed. We went on holidays each year now we live hand to mouth on a tight budget whist trying to pay back our debts from before my husband [required care] and we both became out of work: [my husband] because he's not fit to and me because I became his carer.
Quiet life limiting on which bills to pay and which to not .

Carers find ways to make it work

Despite the struggle for some, help is available and we are imaginative! We find new and unique ways to balance our caring roles.

We did struggle at first, but we were put in touch with a benefit specialist who sorted it all out for us. PIP was very easily done by a visit to our home (unlike many!).
At times it has drained me as have had to bail my son out of debt in the past. At one time I contacted “The National Debt Agency” who were so sympathetic and a great help. Paid essential bills first to keep roof over my son’s head and managed to get some written-off with their advice and help.
Not working so no wage, just Carers Allowance. However living with mother so I have no rent or mortgage. I sold my house to move here, so I have capital
But on the upside it [not having any money left over] does make you more thrifty. We love working out the best value food we can make. We grow bamboo and use it all around the house in DIY. We reuse lots of things from their primary purpose as little hacks. So there's upsides still to what first looks challenging. Things can be difficult without being hard, you know?

If you're struggling with your caring role, for whatever reason, book a 30-minute call with our free Individual Support service. You'll be speaking to another carer and all calls are strictly confidential. They are there to support you - the carer.

Get support in your caring role, contact your local carer centre. Find out who is closest using this nifty tool from the Carers Trust.

If you were forwarded this page and you look after someone, you might like to contribute to a better understanding of unpaid carers. Sign-up for free to take part in Mobilise Moments today.