There are now 1.2 million carers over the age of 65yrs, up 15 percent in a decade. These devoted people are taking care of relatives and partners at home who are increasingly living into their 80s and 90s. The total number of these carers is now 6.4 million, this at a time when councils in the UK are slashing vital home help services across the country. The time devoted by family members to caring for aging relatives saves the state £119 Billion each year, out stripping the £99 Billion annual bill for the NHS.
The subsidy amounts to £2.3 Billion a week or £326 million a day, also other pensioners who are not involved in the day to day care of elderly relatives have the financial burden of residential care. Every day more and more elderly people have to sell their homes to pay disgracefully hefty costs or rely on relatives using up precious savings.
Has it occurred to the government that with 11million people alive today in the UK expected to live to 100 that the army of grey carers will have nothing left for their own care that is if they have not died first due to the diabolical stress and their own ill health?.
It is time that the government and society recognised this contribution and gave families the help and support they need. This has been said time and time again only to be put on the back burner by the government, and as yet but very soon to be realised by those in society who think it does not concern them, it should concern everyone young and old. The government must act in urgency and decide how to fund social care now and realise the physical, emotional and financial pressures are all the more intense on carers 65yrs and older.
National carers week begins this week please take part