Nearly 8 million unpaid carers are ‘propping up’ the broken care system

Nearly 8 million family carers in the UK are “propping up the care system” by providing unpaid care for relatives and other loved-ones, whilst also paying a significant personal and financial price for the care they provide, according to a new report from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank.

Research has calculated that around 7.6 million adults are giving up their time to provide unpaid care for relatives, up 1 million since 2005 and equal to almost 15% of adults living in the UK.

In their report published on Monday, the SMF says the proportion of family carers providing 20 or more hours of unpaid care each week has increased from 24% in 2005 to reach 28% in 2015, with family carers providing an average 19.5 hours of unpaid care each week.

In total, family carers are sacrificing 149 million hours to care for loved-ones every week, equal to 4 million paid care-givers working full-time hours.

However, this level of unselfishness can have a devastating impact on the carers’ health and work prospects, with family carers less likely to be in employment than non-carers and more likely to earn far less.


Source: Nearly 8 million unpaid carers are ‘propping up’ the broken care system

3 thoughts on “Nearly 8 million unpaid carers are ‘propping up’ the broken care system

  1. The unpaid family carers are the only reason social care is still being continued, it was far from easy before the austerity measures, but now the stress is off the scale. More and more family carers will become unable to care, thus creating more need for not only more social care but more health requirements from the NHS.

    When the carer for in undergoing an Assessment of need all aspects need to be recorded, be they from paid care or unpaid care and all areas need to be costed accordingly. Then it will be seen that the assumed cost relating o the caring being done by the family carers will far exceed that of the paid carers. This will then show the full cost of caring in the UK.

    Now, when an Assessment is being done and the family carers are already providing all they can (100%) they are requested to do more to bail out the care system and they doby providing 110%, 120% or whatever is required so their loved ones can be cared for, this is completely unsustainable.The stress levels are unbelievable, how do I know, because I am one of those millions of family carers.


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