Husband, Dad, Boyfriend, Grandad, Carer?
Our Policy & Campaigns Officer, Kirsty, explains why we have chosen to partner with the Men’s Health Forum on some important new research being undertaken about male carers…
41% of the UK’s carers are men. In older carers (aged over 75) the ratio of male to female carers is virtually equal with 50.4% of carers men, and in the over 85s 59% of carers are male.
Yet here at Carers Trust we often hear from our Network Partners that fewer men than women access their services and that they face challenges setting up male carers support groups.
That’s why we have joined up with the Men’s Health Forum for new research project on male carers.
We know that carers are more likely to have ill health compared to those without a caring role but research also shows that men’s health is unnecessarily poor and men are less likely to seek help and support. The statistics on men’s health are shocking. For example:
Men visit their GP 20% less frequently than women and are also much less likely to use pharmacy or stop smoking services.
40% of men still die prematurely (before the age of 75)
That’s why together with the Men’s Health Forum, we have identified male carers as a key group and have now launched a UK wide survey to help us greater understand the needs of male carers. The survey is open to male carers of any age and men who have had caring responsibilities in the last three years.
Through our survey we want to understand more about the type of support male carers currently access, what sort of support they would like to have and their experience of caring – who do they care for, for how long and how has this impacted upon their lives.
We are keen to reach as many carers as possible across the UK so please share the survey with anyone you think might be interested in taking part.
The survey will run for the next six weeks (until 23rd February) and over the next month we will also be speaking to Carers Trust Network Partners to learn more about their experience of supporting male carers – what works, what doesn’t, what have male carers told them they need and the impact support can have on their lives.
To coincide with the launch of the survey an expert Q&A is also taking place on Carers Trust’s online discussion boards. Over the next two weeks experts from the Men’s Health Forum are here to answer questions from male carers about their health and the impact caring has had on their life.
We are really interested to see the results of the survey and hope that it will not only help Carers Trust and our Network Partners learn more about male carers needs but also draw attention to the large number of men across the UK who care for friends and family members.