Survey: Only one in four would reach out to friend in serious need

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Just over a quarter of the public would be likely to ask for help from friends if they needed assistance washing and eating, according to a YouGov survey on the limits of friendship, commissioned by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers to launch a new Facebook app, Who Cares?

The survey of 2,059 respondents got people to think about how they would feel asking their friends for help if they were seriously ill and needed assistance to do everyday tasks like eating, washing, dressing and going to the toilet.

It shows that just over one in seven would be likely to ask for help to go to the loo or have their friends clean up after them if they had a toilet-related ‘accident’ like diarrhoea.

Who Cares? is an app, developed with SiftGroups digital agency, that gets you thinking about which one of your friends you would ask to be your carer if you were ill and incapacitated.

It then simulates, via Facebook messages, the impact this could have on your (chosen) carers’ social life and friendships.

Liz Fenton, Chief Executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: ‘We want people to get a feeling for what it’s like to be a carer and how that impacts on all areas of their lives including their friendships and social life.

“In a recent survey, eight out of ten carers said they have lost friends because of their caring role. We developed the app as a powerful and interactive way to engage people and show them how isolating the carers’ role can be.

“The app also leads people towards sources of support. Please try the app and if you find it revealing or thought-provoking, share it via Facebook.’

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that when people had to volunteer to help their friends, the numbers shot up. Almost two thirds of Brits would be likely to volunteer to help a friend wash themselves and eat and just under a half would be likely to volunteer to help their friends go to the loo.

Whether they work or not seems to have little bearing on how willing people are to help their friends but widowed and separated/divorced people seem to be the happiest of all helping out their friends with 69% of people in these categories saying they would be likely to help out a seriously ill friend to wash themselves and eat.