Over one in 10 providing unpaid care

More than one in 10 providing unpaid care

The selection of unpaid carers in England and Wales has reached 5.8 million – an increase of 600,000 since 2001, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

Figures from 2011 show that the most important increase was in unpaid carers working for fifty or more hours per week.

Wales had a better percentage of folks providing unpaid care compared with any English region.

In England, the best percentages of unpaid carers were within the North West, North East and West Midlands.

The ONS study into unpaid care in England and Wales, 2011 found that greater than 12% of the population in Wales provided some level of care in 2011.

The rise in those providing over 50 hours every week of unpaid care suggests that across England and Wales there are actually 1.4 million people providing round-the-clock care – a rise of 270,000 people since 2001 (25%).

Across local authorities in England and Wales, the selection of carers increased in 320 authorities and fell in exactly six.

In Birmingham, the selection of unpaid carers increased by greater than 9,000 between 2001 and 2011.

Across English regions and Wales, the availability of between one and 19 hours was the most typical level of care provided.

London was the realm with the bottom percentage of unpaid carers at 8.4%.

The study said London’s lower level of care provision was more likely to be influenced by its younger age structure, the transient nature of its population and differences in household composition.

Family pressure

The provision of unpaid care is a vital statistic, the ONS says, because unpaid carers make a very important contribution to the provision of care but their role may also affect their employment opportunities in addition their social and leisure activities.

Unpaid care means care provided to members of the family, friends, neighbours or others who’re disabled, elderly or have long-term illnesses. It doesn’t include people providing general childcare.

HelĂ©na Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK said: “Family life is changing due to our ageing population and the indisputable fact that individuals are living longer with disability and long-term ill-health.

“Too often the fees and pressures of taking good care of older or disabled family can force families to renounce work to care and result in debt, poor health and isolation.

“As well, as more families need assistance to care, social care support and disability benefits are being cut. This risks putting much more pressure on families, a lot of whom are already struggling to manage.”