Women are bearing the brunt
of caring, finds local charity's study
SURVEY by local disabled people's
charity Revitalise reveals that women feel unfairly pressured into a caring
role. A new study by the charity Revitalise has highlighted the pressure
felt by women to assume caring roles ahead of men.
Revitalise runs the Sandpipers centre in Southport, providing respite holidays
for disabled people and carers from the North West region and beyond.
While acknowledging that 42% of the UK's 6.5 million unpaid carers are men, the
charity's study has revealed a perception among female carers that they are
victims of a gender bias which may be unfairly forcing them into caring roles.
The survey found that twice as many women as men thought the gender of a person
was a factor in their becoming a carer (34% vs 17%). When quizzed further, 78%
of the female respondents agreed that women feel more pressured into the role of
carer on account of their gender. However, this contention was shared by 53% of
the men. 89% female carers felt there was an expectation in families and society
that women take on the role of carer, to which 84% non carers also agreed.
Significantly, 37% non-carers thought men tried to evade the responsibility of
providing care. But when it came to the question of men's caring capabilities,
78% and 91% of men were in unanimous agreement that men were just as good at
caring as women; an opinion also shared by 83% non-carers.
Women's feelings of injustice extended to the workplace too; 84% of female
carers felt there was a greater expectation that women should abandon their
careers to become carers.
The Revitalise survey also painted a stark picture of the plight of the UK's
unpaid carers, both male and female. 48% of the carers who responded to the
survey; 83% of whom were 50 or over; said they provided 24/7 care for a loved
one, yet 34% said they had never had any significant time away since they
The impact on the emotional and physical wellbeing of carers was also clearly
highlighted:- 60% said they put the health of their loved 1 ahead of their own.
32% admitted that they sometimes felt depressed and/or resentful at being a
carer and that sometimes they lost patience or got angry at the person they
cared for (34%).
There are over 750 million carers in the North West, with over 280,000 in
Greater Manchester and over 165,000 in Merseyside. In the UK, around 1 person
in 8 is in some kind of caring role.
Revitalise is holding up its study as evidence that much more needs to be done
to support unpaid family carers; especially in terms of regular respite from
caring; and also that the perceived issue of gender bias within caring needs to
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:- "On the surface this
might make quite depressing reading, but it's important to acknowledge that many
people don't regard caring for loved one as a burden or a chore. In our survey,
6 out of 10 carers said they were happy to be carers because they felt it was
But the fact remains that most carers are under incredible pressure and get very
little support. Revitalise has been providing respite support for disabled
people and carers from the North West and across the UK for over 50 years, so we
know a thing or two about the importance of regular time off from caring, as
well as the devastating impact that a lack of regular respite can have.
We think our research has opened the door on an issue that deserves urgent
attention. If women are bearing the brunt of the duty of care, if they feel
unfairly pressured into giving up their careers, hopes and plans solely because
of their gender, then we think that is quite wrong.
We've always believed that disabled people should have the same rights and
freedoms as non disabled people and exactly the same principle should apply to
all carers too."
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people
and carers at Sandpipers and 2 other accessible centres in Chigwell and
Southampton, with 24 hour nursing care on call, personal support and a range of
accessible excursions, activities and entertainment.
People wanting more information about Revitalise respite holidays are requested
to call:- 0303 303 0145 or visit:-
Living Streets welcomes
pavement parking bill
NATIONAL charity Living Streets, which
campaigns for pedestrians, (24 June 2015) welcomes North Dorset MP Simon Hoare's
Private Member's Bill calling for a ban on pavement parking in England and
Living Streets' Chief Executive Joe Irvin said:- "We have been campaigning
for years to reclaim our pavements for pedestrians and we are delighted that
this important issue is finally being addressed after being delayed twice in the
Pavements are for people, not vehicles and it is about time that this issue is
prioritised and given the attention it deserves.
Pavement parking is dangerous. It can obstruct the footway and force pedestrians
into the path of oncoming traffic. This is particularly dangerous for vulnerable
pedestrians including those with reduced mobility or sight loss, wheelchair or
mobility scooter users and parents with young children or buggies.
From our own research (a YouGov poll in December 2014 for Living Streets) we
know that 62% of people over the age of 65 were worried about obstructions on
the pavement such as cars parked on the pavement for their friends and relations
aged 65 and over. Parents also tell us it is 1 of their main worries in
relation to children walking to school. London has had a pavement parking
ban since 1975 and the Scottish Parliament now also has a Bill before it to do
so. We want parking on the pavement to be banned and we fully support Mr Hoare
as he works to make the pavement parking bill a reality."
Celebrate Community Life Savers
THE North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)
NHS Trust held its bi annual CardiacSmart Award ceremony at Blackburn Rover's
stadium, Ewood Park to recognise individuals and organisations who have
dedicated time to raising awareness of heart health, basic life support and
defibrillators in their local communities.
CardiacSmart is part of the Chain of Survival Partnership and community
resuscitation team which is growing the network of Automated External
Defibrillators (AEDs). These are available in the community for use on people
who suffer cardiac arrest outside hospitals in the North West.
The Chain of Survival aims to complement NWAS's emergency resources to reduce
death from cardiac arrest in the community. The initiative works to increase the
number of people in the North West who can provide basic emergency life support
and use an automated external defibrillator, informing people how and when to
access defibrillators. It is engaging with local communities to work together to
establish defibrillators and community responders.
Bob Williams, Chief Executive of NWAS, said:- "The CardiacSmart Award
encourages people to take action and save the lives of people who suffer from a
cardiac arrest in the community. I am delighted to publically recognise all
those who are working for safe and healthy communities – where we all want to
live and work."
Winners' contribution to their communities were recognised with given Bronze,
Silver or Gold Awards and those who have made outstanding efforts to save the
life of a person suffering a cardiac arrest were presented with the Life Saver
The following organisations and individuals in Merseyside received awards:-
Liverpool John Lennon Airport – Fire & Rescue Service -
Gold:- 14 defibrillators on-site, electric maps available for defibrillator
locations, over 100 members of staff trained.
Concept Hygine Ltd - Gold:- 1 defibrillator
on-site, 46 defibrillators placed within the community, training offered to
wider community, Chain of Survival promoted through social media.
MSOC Dogs and Mounted Merseyside Police -
Gold:- 12 defibrillators placed within the local community, 50 staff members
trained, education package for children of all ages for Basic Life Support and
Life Saver Awards
Rob Mitchell and Paul Sayer – Go Karting Arena: Merseyside Life Saver Award
Winners: A man at the Go-Karting venue collapsed, suffering from a cardiac
arrest. Rob and Paul undertook CPR until the man was taken to hospital.
Christopher Hinks - MSOC Dogs and Mounted Merseyside
Police - Merseyside Life Saver Award Winner: A man collapsed on the
road, suffering from a cardiac arrest. Christopher undertook CPR until the man
was taken to hospital.
David Smith - MSOC Dogs and Mounted Merseyside Police -
Merseyside Life Saver Award Winner: A man fell from a roof and suffered from a
cardiac arrest. David was swiftly on the scene to undertake CPR and using a
defibrillator he saved the man's life.
School Winners: -
St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning – Gold:- 3
defibrillators on-site, annual training of 250 pupils, regular promotion of
Chain of Survival, external training provided to parents.
The Awards were supported by Physio Control, Cardiac Science, Zoll, Wel Medical,
Green Urban Technologies Ltd, Healthwatch Lancashire, SADS UK, Adam Appeal,
Lancashire Defibrillator Campaign, RLSS, Millie's Trust and Hand on Heart.