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  1. ITV Report

Unpaid carers are suffering in silence with loneliness

Lonely carers more likely to report worsened mental and physical health. Credit: PA

There are calls to tackle the 'silent epidemic' of loneliness of unpaid carers with 8 in 10 saying they are lonely or socially isolated.

Carers UK say greater understanding, more breaks and social activities are needed to combat the often unnoticed issue in those who care for their ill, disabled or old relatives. It often has a damaging impact on their mental and physical health.

Lonely carers are almost twice as likely to report worsened mental and physical health, the research found. The lack of time and money because of their responsibilities are said to key factors.

83%
described themselves as "lonely or socially isolated".
32%
felt "uncomfortable" talking to friends about caring.

Claire Morgan, Director of Carers Wales, said poor understanding can worsen the isolation. She said, "On a daily basis around Wales, carers are experiencing overwhelming feelings of loneliness but are suffering in silence.

Many people care for loved ones and friends, yet society and public services often fail to grasp how isolating caring for someone can be. This can be worsened by financial pressures, poor understanding from friends and colleagues, and a lack of regular breaks."