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Commenting on ITV’s broadcast (Tues 26.03.2024) of the documentary by Kate Garraway caring for her husband Derek Draper who contracted long COVID and the huge costs and struggle associated with care:


Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: "There are up to 10.6 million unpaid carers across the UK caring for an ill, disabled or elderly relative or friend and many can empathise with Kate Garraway’s experience. We know her journey as a carer has been really tough and, like many unpaid carers, she has faced multiple challenges and complications in her fight to get care.  Sadly, her experience is not an isolated one.

“This is a combination of a chronic shortage of social care, the high costs of buying services, and a shortfall in financial support from the state.

“Caring takes its toll on unpaid carers both financially and emotionally.  Getting into debt is a real worry and affects a staggering one in seven unpaid carers as a result of caring. Our State of Caring report reveals that six out of ten of unpaid carers are worried about the cost of living and whether they can manage in the future.  

“Many unpaid carers find it hard to balance work with caring responsibilities and an estimated 600 people a day have little choice but to give work altogether, with devastating impacts on their incomes.  For those out of work, making ends meet is a real struggle when Carer’s Allowance at only £76.75 is the lowest benefit of its kind.

“As our population ages, it is likely that most of us will have caring responsibilities in the future. Given that unpaid carers already provide care worth a staggering £162 billion a year –the equivalent of a second NHS, it’s clear we must do more to support them and those they care for. 

“When unpaid carers give so much, any future government must recognise the enormous societal and economic value unpaid carers contribute to our society and prioritise social care.”



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