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Carers UK responds to Age UK's new research highlighting the immense challenges facing older people needing care

16 February 2017

Responding to new research from Age UK showing the high numbers of older people going without the care and support they need and the impact of this on their health and wellbeing, as well as on the families and the NHS, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy at Carers UK said:

“We are deeply worried by the findings of Age UK’s report which concurs with findings from our earlier research. It demonstrates what a dire situation the funding of social care is in. Families have been taking on ever growing levels of intensity of caring responsibilities for their older and disabled relatives and friends as we’ve seen the amounts of social care funding fall relative to the numbers of people needing care.

 

The support provided by families and close friends, unpaid, is already worth a staggering £132 billion year. Evidence from our State of Caring 2016 survey found that pressure on local government finances is leading to long delays in carers’ assessments with 29% waiting for over six months to have their needs assessed, and 39% of those caring for people at the end of life waiting six months or more – time they can ill-afford. Providing care, although rewarding for some, is not without its costs to families and close friends. We know that 2 million people have given up work to care which can have a catastrophic impact on people’s short and long term finances and caring also impacts on people’s health and well-being. There are also costs to business of losing valuable staff, often at the prime of their careers.

 

Government needs to lead on finding a funding solution for the future of social care and needs to find new ways of supporting families who provide care. The Spring Budget and the forthcoming Carers Strategy are opportunities to do both."

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