The UK is home to 7 million unpaid carers. These are people who provide care and support to an ailing or disabled family member, friend or neighbour on an ongoing basis. They represent an unpaid and often invisible workforce that saves the Government a staggering £119 billion every year – more than the Government’s entire annual NHS expenditure.
Carers are often exposed to higher than usual levels of physical and emotional stress which puts their own health at risk. Many carers help the person they care for with physical tasks, such as getting in and out of the bed, bath or chairs. In addition to this, the role of carer, especially when caring for a spouse or close family member, can create unique emotional stresses.
Over 70% the UK’s unpaid carers now suffer from back pain, and are a greater risk of developing chronic pain, which is highly disabling in a third of cases and life-long for the majority. The national back pain charity, BackCare is working to help the UK carers with this year’s BackCare Awareness Week (3rd – 8th of October 2016).