Did you know...
- There are over one million carers over the age 65 in the UK?
- Almost one in ten people over 85 provide unpaid care, with this number set to double over the next 20 years
- Most carers aged over 70 are providing over 60 hours care a week
Our important Speak up for older carers campaign aims to raise awareness of issues affecting carers over the age of 65.
We want to influence health and social care policy and heighten public perception of older carers.
Here's how you can get involved in the campaign and see what the campaign has achieved already:
- Findings from our Your health as a carer survey
- Email your local health service
- Where is my care coordinator?
- Read our campaign aims
- Find out about other ways to get involved
This campaign will run from August 2016 to March 2017, and is running in England only.
Between October and November 2016, 422 carers aged 65+ took our survey to tell us about their health as a carer.
We wanted to know how their own health is influenced by their caring role. The survey revealed some distressing results about carers own health:
- 86% had health problems of their own
- 67% said their health condition was as a direct result of their caring role
- 57% had cancelled or postponed their own doctor’s or hospital appointments
- 81% (328) said they felt lonely and isolated and 83% said their loneliness and isolation was having a negative impact on their health.
We are now calling for carers to get a better deal when it comes to their own health and wellbeing both now and for the future.
With growing numbers of people caring for longer and well into old age, it is important to identify them early and offer appropriate support.
Our survey results above suggest that caring is certainly a risk factor in developing a health condition.
Take action now and ask your local health service to add a question to the free NHS health check that identifies carers.
We began this campaign in August 2016 by asking you to contact your local councillors.
We wanted you to find out what is happening with health and social care coordination in your local area and to ask for more support.
The e-action has now closed - thank you to everyone who took part!
- A call for better coordination of health and social care services to reduce the pressure placed on older carers.
- For increased identification, recognition and support for older carers caring for their elderly partner or family member.
- To reduce the amount of time older carers spend travelling to and juggling appointments, with and for the person they care.
This role is harder than any I had when I was employed, I am supposed to be retired now but it doesn't feel like it. I am happy to care for my husband but it is all the rest – the endless calls just to be passed on that get me down."
- An older carer talking about retirement
Whether you're an older carer yourself or you know someone who is, there's lots of things you can do to help spread the word.
Become a case study
Share your story of being an older carer and the issues you face - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Share on social media
Shout about our campaign on your social media profiles using the hashtag #oldercarers and share our campaign posts with your friends.