Strain on unpaid carers putting adult social care at increased risk of collapse

Rising demand for care and the increasing costs of providing it are forcing families to become unpaid carers at the expense of their own health and wellbeing, according to a new report from the Local Government Association (LGA) and Carers UK.

Latest research shows that nearly three-quarters of carers in England have suffered mental ill health, such as stress and depression, while 61 per cent have experienced physical ill health due to caring. But despite the demands of their role, a fifth have not received a carer’s assessment in the past year.

Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, commented:

'This is an all too familiar tale: unpaid carers buckling under the strain of propping up a broken system. One caller to our Helpline was at their wits end, agonising about needing a knee operation that would leave them unable to care for their loved one.

'Successive Governments have chronically under-funded social care, leading an estimated 670,000 people in the UK to become carers for loved ones with dementia. Many give up their jobs to do so, and a quarter tell us they feel cut off from society as a result [1].

'A million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2021, all wanting and deserving quality care – we cannot keep relying on devoted families putting their own health at risk to plug the gap. The forthcoming Green Paper must be an opportunity to end this injustice and ensure everyone gets the support they need.'

[1] Alzheimer’s Society research conducted by Ipsos MORI, including an online survey of 500 unpaid dementia carers, published in the May 2017 Turning up the Volume report. 


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