As it’s been Carers Week this week, we’ve
been recognising the 8.8 million unpaid carers across the UK who provide
amazing support to their loved ones day-in and day-out, often without a break.
Caring, for many, is a full-time role which can be exhausting and emotional,
particularly as carers get older.
As part of our When I’m Gone
campaign we met with a number of carers who shared their fears and concerns
about getting older and what that will mean for their loved ones. As of the
last census in 2011, it was found that there were around 2 million carers in
England and Wales aged 50-64 and 1.3 million aged 60 and over. As the national
figure for the amount of carers has increased, we can safely assume that the
number of older carers has increased too and the need to support them will
continue to grow.
Today marks the one year anniversary of our When I’m Gone campaign.
There are approximately 1.7 million disabled adults being cared for by family or friends who provide support day-in and day-out, with little opportunity or time to have a break. As many of these family carers get older, they might begin to think about “What will happen to my loved one when I’m gone?” And for many, the answer is unclear. This is why we launched When I’m Gone in February 2018 – to help disabled people and their families plan for the future and give them much-needed peace of mind.
As part of the campaign we spoke to many families and disabled people and from the beginning, we found that a great deal of them didn’t know where to start when it came to planning for the future or felt overwhelmed by the prospect of thinking what to plan for and look towards. Worryingly, we found that one third of councils do not know how many disabled people who live in their area rely on friends and family for their care and support. Additionally only a quarter of councils routinely support families to make contingency plans for future care options.