New research by Dr Linda Pickard at the LSE has claimed that care is facing a crisis over the coming two decades. According to Carers UK, this work serves as a stark warning to Government and society that more care must be provided or families will suffer.
The research shows that by 2017, we will have reached a tipping point in care when the demand from older people needing care will outstrip family members able to meet that need.
It warns that this “care gap” will increase rapidly over the next two decades. By 2032, 1.1 million older people in England will need care from their families – an increase of 60% – but the number of people able to care for older parents will only increase by 20%. Dr Pickard predicts this will leave a shortfall of around 160,000 carers.
The research warns that families, and women in mid-life in particular, will be placed under huge pressure to juggle work and caring for older relatives, which the LSE says will create inequality in the workplace and could come at a big cost to the labour market.
There are currently 6.5 million carers throughout the UK and Carers UK/YouGov polling showed that 2.3 million people have given up work to care, many feeling that they had no other option but to do so. Women are more likely to be impacted by caring during their working life – they have a 50:50 chance of providing substantial care by the time they are 59, compared with men who have the same chances by the time they are 74.
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