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Is 2015 the year when carers’ rights will catch up with carers’ responsibilities?

Heléna Herklots

Heléna Herklots
Chief Executive, Carers UK

Our country relies heavily on the unpaid work of 6.5 million people, caring for family members and other loved ones. It may be caring for elderly parents, or a partner who’s had a stroke, or a disabled child. This unpaid care equates to £119 billion every year, and these responsibilities come with significant costs for many carers – from suffering physical and mental ill-health, to having to give up paid employment to struggling to make ends meet for many years because of the costs of caring. 

Sandwich generation concern is growing

Emily Holzhausen

Emily Holzhausen
Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK

In the past couple of years there has been the growing realisation that we’re in the middle of a new social phenomenon – the 'sandwich generation'.

The term 'sandwich generation' is often used to refer to those looking after young children at the same time as caring for older parents. It can also be used much more broadly to describe a variety of multiple caring responsibilities for people in different generations. We tend to interpret it as those who combine looking after a dependent child under the age of 18 with caring for an adult.

The most recent research published by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies shows that this is becoming one of the hardest pressed generations.1

Supporting the Sandwich Generation

Suzy Webster, 
Expert by Experience, Care Quality Commission

As research published today shows just how stressful looking after older parents can be, Suzy shares her experience of 'sandwich caring' - combining care for her two children with care for her mother, who lives with dementia.

It’s time for a ‘carer-friendly’ NHS

Heléna Herklots,
Chief Executive, Carers UK

The NHS depends on carers; without their contribution in unpaid care, it would collapse. But many carers feel that they aren’t being fully supported by the NHS either in their caring role, or to look after their own health.


Hearing from carers first hand

Neil Churchill
Director of Patient Experience, NHS

As part of Carers Week 2014, Neil spent the day visiting carers at their home and hearing their experiences first hand. Read about his day, and about the next steps for NHS England’s Commitment for Carers.


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