The number of people aged 80 or older who are relied on to act as unpaid carers has increased by roughly 40% in the past seven years. An ageing population, combined with a shortage of state / local authority care provision, has resulted in around one person in seven people in their 80s providing unpaid care for family or friends.
The number of carers among the “oldest old” currently numbers 417,000; whereas in 2009 there were an estimated 301,000 in the same category. Most of these carers perform caring roles willingly, but they require more support according to the charity Age UK. The efforts of these carers save the health and care system an estimated £5.9 billion per year.
“ …over half (144,000) of carers in this age group who are caring for someone in their home are doing so for more than 35 hours a week, while a further 156,000 are caring for more than 20 hours a week. As our population continues to age it is estimated that there will be more than 760,000 carers aged 80 and beyond by 2030”. Age UK.
‘Hidden army’ of carers in their 80s, says Age UK. London: BBC Health News, May 18th 2016.
This relates to:
Invisible army of oldest carers saving state billions. London [Online]: Age UK, May 18th 2016.
Department of Health’s “Call For Evidence” Regarding a National Carers Strategy
The Department of Health Carers Strategy Call For Evidence is asking for feedback about how to better support carers (of all ages).
Hunter, T. (2016). Recognition and support must go hand in hand for unpaid carers. London: Department of Health, April 29th 2016.