The cost of caring

A new report out this week reveals that 70% of over 60s looking after loved ones said being a carer had damaged their health.

The UK's 6 million carers are made up of around half aged over 50 and 1.5 million over the age of 60. Of the 639 60-94 year-old carers surveyed, 68.8% said being a carer had damaged their psychological well being and two-thirds had a disability themselves.

This raises huge concerns about the issue of older carers battling their own deteriorating health without enough support from the NHS.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, who published the report, now wants GPs to give health checks and depression screening to carers once a year along with home visits, dependent on their responsibilities.

While this report focuses on older carers, it does raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by carers generally in accessing the help, support and information they need.

Despite this, many carers remain unaware of benefits and social care services available to them. Support and information and access to respite for carers is a key theme of our campaigning work, including our Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign.

As part of the Care and Support Alliance, we're currently working with 50 other charities to call for urgent reform of adult social care - which would provide more rights for carers.

Our e-action campaign has begun. We're calling for the public to write to their MP to tell them why we need urgent changes to the care system in England and end the care crisis.

Carers save the economy billions, and it is vital that they are sufficiently supported.

Are you a carer? Share your views with us here or email

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