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Concern about role of unpaid carers as number of over 85s is set to double by 2035.

31 August 2018

The pressure on families and the health and care system is set to rise substantially as new research predicts the number of adults aged 85 and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to nearly 450,000 in England by 2035, according to a study from researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Newcastle published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy, Carers UK, said:

“These predictions provide a stark warning that our care system urgently needs better funding. Already families and the care system are at breaking point. One in four providing substantial care to a relative or friend has not had a day off from caring in over 5 years. 61% of carers responding to our survey said they are in poor physical health and 72% report experiencing from poor mental health themselves. This has worrying consequences for the ability of families to care in the future as nearly half were concerned their physical health would reduce their ability to care in the future.


The study also rightly points out that our longer working lives mean fewer people will be able to care full time and more of us will be under pressure to juggle paid work and caring. Carers UK’s evidence shows that the lack of good quality care is a huge factor in people giving up their paid jobs to care. Carers pay a heavy financial price for leaving work to care and it also hits employers’ productivity as they lose trained and valued employees.


The Green Paper on social care is long overdue to look at how we put our social care system on a sustainable footing for the future. To provide the support that older and disabled people need, and support families better urgent action is needed in this Autumn’s Budget to address the chronic shortfall in funding.“


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