International Women’s Day – are female carers being taken for granted?

Julia.Mazorodze@dementiacarers.org.uk
March 8, 2024
March 7, 2024

Unpaid female carers are less likely than unpaid male carers to access support from local authorities in terms of advice and information, Carer’s Assessments and funded support, according to research by national charity Dementia Carers Count (DCC).

Though there are more unpaid female carers than unpaid male carers according to the 2021 census data, DCC’s survey of 1,300 unpaid dementia carers looking after family members and friends has revealed some stark differences in who men and women are caring for and the support they are receiving:


Frances Lawrence, CEO Dementia Carers Count said: “All carers deserve the support that they need as individuals to cope with their caring responsibilities. Too many dementia carers, regardless of their gender, feel invisible and alone. However, we are concerned about these apparent discrepancies in the support being accessed by female and male unpaid carers.

“Our research also shows that over half of male carers feel positive or quite positive about being a carer compared to a third of female carers. Over a third of male carers describe their mental health as good compared to a quarter of female carers. The implied links between how carers feel and the support that they are receiving cannot be ignored.

“Our findings prompt reflection on International Women’s Day about the impact of caring and the expectations we all have about men and women caring for family members. We know that providing care to someone else often leads to inequalities in terms of employment and income, with many carers obliged to give up work to fulfill caring responsibilities. We also know that many more women give up work to care than men.

“Addressing this is important, but it looks like there is another challenge which we need to urgently tackle – ensuring that those who are caring have equal access to information, advice and statutory entitlements, such as the Carer’s Assessment, as well as paid support. More research is needed to understand why discrepancies are arising and what can be done to change this.”



For more information or interviews with a DCC spokesperson contact Iona-Jane Harris on 07807 231432 or email iona-jane.harris@dementiacarers.org.uk or Helen Pyper, Head of Policy and Campaigns, helen.pyper@dementiacarers.org.uk

Notes to Editors

1. There are just under a million families living with dementia across the UK. Dementia Carers Count (DCC) supports, advocates and campaigns for dementia carers so that no-one feels isolated, invisible or alone. Find out more.

2. DCC carried out a survey of 1,314 dementia carers aged over 18 from across the UK between 7th June – 15th September 2023. We describe dementia carers as anyone who offers or has offered help and support to a friend or family member to live well with dementia. A breakdown of the findings in relation to gender can be provided on request. An overview of the research findings is provided in our report Invisible.

3. Unpaid care by age, sex and deprivation, England and Wales: Census 2021 sets out data on the gender of unpaid carers.

4. TUC analysis: Women 7 times more likely than men to be out of work due to caring commitments

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