Who provides unpaid care and how much? Most commonly a partner, another family member or friend. Around 60% are women, some are young people and increasingly more are over 75. Many are working while others are forced to give up work. Many have health problems, look after children, have a disability themselves or are in poverty. Their commitment ranges from a few hours a week to total support, sometimes for years, even decades.
Who relies on unpaid care and why? Those being cared for may be of working age or older people who need both practical and emotional support. Whilst some families may voluntarily opt to provide care themselves, many will find that funded care is insufficient and paying for the amount of care they need is Only 43% of those seeking social care support currently receive some form of funded service.
How many people provide unpaid care and how has Covid-19 affected this? In 2019 around 9 million, but this rose to at least 13.6 million with the pandemic.
What is it like being an unpaid carer? Surveys before the pandemic reveal a major physical and mental health toll on unpaid carers struggling with stress and exhaustion. For poor and less well off carers, the financial consequences can be devastating.
Why is there an urgent need for change? In 2019 unpaid care was saving the Government £132 billion a year. We want a social care system that provides care for everyone who needs it rather than relying on an unpaid workforce to take the brunt of the inadequacy of social care provision.
Why should you object to the Government’s plans? The government has failed to produce a realistic plan capable of delivering the adult social care that people need without imposing enormous financial costs on them or their families. The additional taxes required to fund a fully comprehensive national care service should be borne by those who can best afford to pay.