Marking Carers Rights Day 2012, Kerry McCarthy MP has backed Carers UK’s urging people caring for ill or disabled family members to access the support the need. There are around 6.4 million unpaid carers in the UK who provide care and support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country an estimated £119 billion each year.
This year, new Carers UK research has also pointed to the additional pressure faced by ‘sandwich carers’ who are juggling childcare with looking after ageing or disabled relatives. A survey of over 1,000 ‘sandwich carers’ showed that 4 in 10 were struggling to cope, with two thirds reporting strain on marriages and personal relationships and three quarters saying they had seen a drop in earnings as they struggle to combine work with family responsibilities.
Marking Carers Rights Day, Kerry McCarthy MP said: "In communities up and down the country, millions of people are caring for family members without receiving any support. They are fulfilling a vital role in our society and we must help them continue by identifying those who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones; particularly if they are looking after young children as well. If you’re a carer, please don’t hesitate to call Carers UK adviceline.”
Carers UK Chief Executive Heléna Herklots said: “More and more families are finding themselves struggling to juggle childcare, care for older parents and work. Often carers aren’t given advice and don’t realise there is support out there - it is crucial they access to information and support to help them manage.”
Carers can order a free booklet called Looking after someone: a guide to carers’ rights and benefits from Carers UK by visiting www.carersuk.org
or calling Carers UK’s Adviceline on 0808 808 7777.