The MACIF, a private French insurance company, ordered a survey to IPSOS, a survey company to conduct research on carers. The result of its work conducted from December 3. to January 26. 2020 was published in September and consists of 2306 interviewed carers in France on their role, the type of care they performed, and the mental load it represented.
- 83% cared for a close family member
- 93% of carers are very linked affectively to the cared person.
4 types of carers
- The “over engaged in caring who suffer from it” (26%) – linked by a very strong geographical and relational proximity to the person being cared for, their investment is unfailing. Despite the heavy impact on all aspects of their lives, they do not question their help. 41% of them are taking care of a person with disabilities (child, spouse)
- “Peaceful carers” (26%) – affectively linked to the cared person, but with a light charge, more like “old friends”
- The “ones involved but forced to do so” (23%) – carers younger than average that are particularly affected by the relation and suffer from the situation. They would like to be able to stop their involvement.
- “Distant visitors” (25%) – less linked affectively and less invested in the daily life of the cared person
The cared person
- 53% of the carers were taking care of a person because of their age;
- 45% following a disease;
- 34% as consequence of a person’s disabilities.
Type of care
93% of carers went at least once a week to assist the person, with the majority spending at least 1 to 7 hours per week with the person, with regular phone contact.
The type of care covers all aspects of life, from cleaning, grocery shopping to moral support and health care to financial support.
- 67% consider the caring a mental load;
- 62% of carers say they have been overwhelmed by their emotions and have had some sort of breakdown;
- 74% of the carers said they would need respite;
- 21% of carers admit that they would want to stop the care.
Impact on life
- 47% consider that it represents an economic burden – 90% don’t receive any financial retribution, even if one third declares participating to the person’s expenses;
- 45% that it has a negative impact on their social or family life;
- 39% that it has negatively impacted their professional life, with 10% having to stop working.
The lack of knowledge of existing assistance and support for carers is concerning:
- 53% of carers consider themselves to be poorly informed of their role;
- 53% were unaware of the existence of paid leaves for family solidarity;
- 54% were unaware of the right to respite.
Over 90% have never benefited from any of this assistance.
The survey suggested measures to help alleviate the care responsibilities of the respondents. All suggestions were considered useful, the most useful being one-time assistance in the home and the creation of technical and financial aids.
More than ¾ are not in favour of placing the person they care for in an institutional setting.