CENSUS: 40% SURGE IN NUMBER OF OLDER CARERS
Sharp rise in over-65s and middle-aged workers caring for disabled or older loved ones
Almost 90,000 (87,173) older people in Wales are devoting their retirement to caring for ill partners or their own ageing parents, Census figures have shown – a staggering increase of almost 40% (38.7%) in the last ten years.
According to figures published today (16th May 2013) by the Office for National Statistics, this army of ageing carers in Wales has risen more rapidly than the total number of carers – which has increased by 9% to 369,186 in Wales since 2001.
The UK’s ageing population means that more and more over-65s are spending their planned golden years caring for the ‘older-old’ like frail parents in their 80s and 90s. Many are also grandparents juggling helping out with their grandchildren as they also care for their own older parents. Others are living out the reality of their marriage vows, ‘in sickness and in health’, as they spend their retirement caring full-time for ill partners with conditions like dementia or Parkinson’s Disease.
Other Census figures show that:
Women are bearing the brunt of caring: 57% of carers in Wales (211,566) are women and 43% are men (157,620).
Juggling work and care: over 180,000 (181,135) carers in Wales combine work with caring for older or disabled loved ones.
Keith Bowen, Director of Carers Wales said: “Our ageing population has created a new generation of unpaid carers – many are juggling work with caring for older or disabled loved ones, and a rising number of older people are devoting their retirements to caring for their families.”
“Our care services are already struggling support the millions who care for loved ones. Government must act, not just to preserve dignity and independence of older people who need support, but also prevent their partners and children from being pushed to breaking point caring for them.”
Carers Wales can provide spokespeople and caring case studies