Healthwatch Kirklees want to support the Carers Strategy Group in Kirklees to understand the experience of ethnic minority carers as it is felt their voice is under-represented.

We engaged with ethnic minority carers in the community and in local support groups, asking about their experience as unpaid carers, how this impacts their lives and whether anything could be done differently to better support them in their role. We also asked if faith, culture, gender or ethnicity impacted peoples experience as a carer.

By Healthwatch Kirklees

Key findings:

Carers from different ethnic backgrounds are less likely to identify as carers than white British carers which may mean they access less support leading to negative impacts on their health, wellbeing and financial situation.

Cultural expectations and stigma can have a significant negative impact on carers, particularly in the South Asian community.  Support for carers can improve only when these things are better understood.

Carers from different communities across Kirklees experience barriers faced by many other unpaid carers but they have additional barriers which negatively impact on their lives and caring role.

The people we spoke to identified many ways in which they would feel better supported and more able to cope with the demands which caring puts on their lives.  They are looking for better ways to access support for their health and wellbeing so they don’t end up at breaking point and needing care themselves.

The findings from this engagement will be shared with Kirklees Council Carers Strategy Group, the carers work stream of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership (which works across a regional footprint), local stakeholders (such as third sector organisations) and the groups who participated in our engagement. Our recommendations suggest that key changes to care and support offered to carers from minority communities would hugely improve their caring experience. To achieve the outcomes ethnic minority carers are looking for, these key changes need to be at the forefront of conversations in Kirklees.

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The experiences of ethnic minority carers in Kirklees Download File (pdf 635.31 KB)