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New data shows nation is not geared up to care

More than half the nation isn’t geared up to care for their family or friends, nor have they considered what would happen if they needed to be cared for, according to new data released by Carers Trust.

A YouGov survey carried out on behalf of Carers Trust showed that 58 per cent of people haven’t spoken to their family and friends about what care they would need if they couldn’t look after themselves in the future.

However, a third (33 per cent), said they would like to be cared for at home rather than in a residential setting, despite 80 per cent not having made any financial plans.

While 46 per cent said they had either not thought about caring for someone else in the future much or at all.

No provisions in place for older carers

These findings raise grave concerns that as the older population is living longer, little or no provisions are being put in place.

The crisis in adult social care funding could mean that a generation of people are left unprepared for caring both practically and financially.

The report also comes in the wake of calls by David Mowat MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community Health and Care, for families to take up more responsibility for their older parents.

Many families reaching breaking point

According to the 2011 Census, there are more than 1.8million known unpaid carers over the age of 60 in England looking after a sick or disabled family member. More than 87,000 are over the age of 85.

Many go unidentified, as they don’t recognise themselves as carers or are not identified by services.

Gail Scott-Spicer, CEO of Carers Trust, said: “Many families are reaching breaking point because they’re caring 24/7 with little or no support. As three in five of us will become an unpaid carer at some stage in our lives, it’s important that we talk about it and prepare for it now.

The Government can help further to ease the burden of carers and the uncertainty of the future by investing more funding.”

A recent study of 100 older carers looked what preparations had been made for their future.

The majority have made a will or trusts, but none had spoken about the possible need for care until they became carers, and even then most had not spoken to relatives about how much care they would be prepared to give or receive from people close to them.

Others simply found it too difficult to talk about and did not want to discuss it.

 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,165 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21 and 22 December 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).