Most carers struggling with health and money

More than half of carers have given up work to care, one-third are in debt and one in 10 cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, according to a report published yesterday.

The survey of nearly 3,000 carers by charity Carers UK found that nearly three-quarters were worse off since they started caring and more than half said financial worries were affecting their health.

Nearly half of respondents said they would like to work but six in 10 working age carers said the level and complexity of the care they provided prevented them. And even though many cannot work the report says the benefits system deprives them of an acceptable standard of living.

Carers UK chief executive Imelda Redmond (pictured) said the tax and benefits system for carers should be overhauled and called for heavy investment in social care so that carers “can take advantage of things that others take for granted”, such as shopping or having a weekend away.

She said the review of the national carers strategy, announced by chancellor Gordon Brown in February, was a chance to improve the system for carers.

She added: “Carers are often forced out of work because the social care system does not give them the support to balance work and caring. They are consigned to a life on the margins.”

Further information
Real Change Not Short Change

Related article
Community Care readers and visitors to recently voted a better deal for carers among the top five issues they wanted us to prioritise for 2007.

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 Simeon Brody


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