About the report
Source: Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) 2012/2013; National Records of Scotland mid-2013 population estimates
Unpaid carers are people who provide care and support to family members, other relatives, friends and neighbours. The people they care for may be affected by disability, physical or mental health issues (often long-term), frailty, substance misuse or some other condition. Some carers care intensively while others care for shorter periods. Some carers are life-long carers, while others may care for shorter periods of time. A carer does not need to be living with the person they care for to be considered a carer. Anybody can become a carer at any time in their life and sometimes for more than one person at a time. Carers can be any age from young children to very elderly people.
Carers are not paid workers and they are not volunteers; although some can receive payment for part of their time caring through Self-Directed Support. There may be formal paid workers and volunteers supporting the carer and the person they care for, but sole focus of this publication is unpaid carers.
About the report
This report brings together statistical analysis and research on caring. Information is presented on who provides care in Scotland, drawing from recent population surveys such as the Scotland's 2011 Census and the Scottish Health Survey. The report considers the health and wellbeing of carers and the impact that caring can have on wellbeing as well as the nature, purpose and effectiveness of support for carers.
The report is intended to provide a useful source of information for carer's organisations, policy makers, local authorities and anyone who is a carer or knows someone who is a carer.
Chapters look at:
The statistics presented in this report are mainly Scotland level but much of the information from Scotland's 2011 Census is also available at local authority level.
An Excel spreadsheet is available to download and contains all charts included in this publication.
Charts which have this symbol next to them are available at Local Authority level in the spreadsheet which accompanies this publication.
We are extremely grateful to a number of people who assisted us in the development of this report. This includes: the Census team at National Registers of Scotland who provided secure access to data; Dr Iain Atherton, Edinburgh Napier University, who peer reviewed the publication; and Aisha MacGregor, a former graduate intern in Scottish Government, who was involved in reviewing some of the existing research on carers.
Email: Steven Gillespie