Employment and Skills, The Benefit System

Problem faced by sandwich carers

Problem faced by sandwich carers

 It is estimated that there are currently 7 Million carers within the UK. Every year 2.3 million people become carers and three in five people will become carers during their lifetimes. Out of the UK’s carers, 42% of carers are men and 58% are women. People believe that the number of carers will increase by 3.4 million over the next 30 years.  Carers contribute  £119bn to the UK economy every year. (http://www.carers.org/key-facts-about-carers).

One in five carers state that they have been forced to leave paid employment due to their caring responsibilities.    Half of those carers, who are currently unemployed, say that they wish to work.  A study for the Princes’  Trust state that 35% of all carers have lost out on benefits because they were unaware that they were entitled to them. Studies also indicate that a percentage of carers were suffering from stress. http://www.carers.org/key-facts-about-carers

Over 4.7 millions carers have been identified as ‘sandwich carers’- carers who care for two generations of care recipients; the old and the young. The organisation Carers UK have published a report about this issue. The research found that 62% of this group are finding it difficult to cope.   The strain of caring is having troubling effects on their family life. http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/2852-sandwich-caring-families-under-pressure

A quarter of those studied said that they have been forced to  reduce their working hours and a further 25% stated that they have been forced to give up work entirely. It found that half of these carers earn less than £31,200 a year.http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/jun/11/family-finances-consumer-affairs.  You can can a copy of the report at http://www.carersuk.org/professionals/resources/research-library/item/2853-sandwich-caring

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

 “An ageing population means that caring for older or disabled loved ones is inevitable for all our families. Care services and workplaces must catch up with this reality of family life. Currently, families too often cannot access the support they need and are finding themselves squeezed between childcare, care for older parents and work – under pressure from all sides,  and seeing their finances, careers and personal relationships suffer.” http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/2852-sandwich-caring-families-under-pressure

Are you a  sandwich carer?  How can society help?

By Victoria Richards






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