New research has been published by Age UK on the numbers of older people who are actively caring. A 40% increase in the past 7 years in the number of carers over the age of 80 who are caring for a loved one has been identified. 417,000 people in their 80s or I in 7, care for another person, usually a spouse or partner.
Emily Holzhausen, director of policy at Carers UK said ‘Older carers make an enormous but often hidden contribution to our society and the levels of care being provided are staggering. But we hear time and time again from carers that this comes at a cost to their own health and well-being, unable to leave the home or get sufficient breaks from caring’. Older carers often admit to being exhausted, worried about long they can carry on, and what will happen if they get ill themselves.
Age UK recommends greater investment from the Government, social care services and the NHS.
Staff at Carers Leeds are very aware of the increase in older carers who are seeking information, advice and support from our service. Timely support can make a huge difference to difficult caring situations and we welcome contact with older carers.