Carers Trust has launched a new campaign in England to help the UK's 1.8 million older carers, called Speak up for older carers.
The first phase of the campaign named "Where is my care coordinator?", focuses on better coordination to overcome the stress of caring.
There are more than 1.8 million carers over the age of 60 in the UK and the number is growing. Many older people look after their sick or disabled husband or wife, while struggling with their own health needs.
Yet when it comes to ensuring that all the different organisations involved in caring for them know what is happening and that the right care is in place, there is a drastic lack of coordination.
Making carers' lives easier
The campaign aims to appeal for more support to make older carers' lives easier. Gail Scott-Spicer, CEO of Carers Trust, said:
"The stories that carers are telling us are shocking.
Five different appointments in one week in different locations and stories of not being able to get to their appointment because of difficulties getting to the location due to lack of transport.
"We've launched "Where is my care coordinator?" to appeal to health and social care professionals to make life easier for carers by working closer together to help them overcome some of the frustrations they face."
Single point of contact for care
Many carers want a single point of contact or for someone to take responsibility for coordinating the care. Gail Scott-Spicer continued:
"Some simple steps like improved IT systems, early identification and referral to support services could make all the difference to stop the burn out of a carer and help to smooth out what is already a difficult and challenging situation."
We launched the campaign following a series of meetings with older carers across England to listen to the issues they were facing.
We listened to what would have been helpful for them to know, whether they had a care plan in place and whether they had discussed their future care needs with family and friends and with each other.
The information will help to increase our knowledge of the needs of older carers and to look at what needs to be done to help them and potential carers plan for the future.