Who cares?

By Tracey Dickson, marketing consultant

There are almost 7 million carers in the UK – that’s around 10 per cent of the population who provide unpaid care for a disabled, seriously ill or older loved one.1

But according to a report from the charity Carers UK, 20 per cent of people providing 50 hours or more of care a week get no support. Today is Carers’ Rights Day. It’s held by Carers UK and aims to help carers know their rights and find out how to get the support and advice they need to help them cope.

In England, the Care Act, introduced in April 2015, has made it easier for carers to obtain an assessment that looks at how caring impacts their life and what support they need. However, according to a report by Carers UK, 1 in five carers who had this assessment in the past year felt it gave them very little helpful advice. What’s more, only 35 per cent of carers felt that the support they needed to look after their own physical and mental health was properly considered.2

Being a carer has a big impact on people’s lives. Many will find they need to juggle other responsibilities such as work, study or their own childcare alongside caring for a vulnerable loved one. In short, carers may feel their own needs must come last, and without the right support they simply won’t get what they need to make sure their own health is taken care of.

And the number of carers in the UK is expected to rise by 60 per cent by 2030 – that’s 3.4 million more people who’ll need help and support.1

Within our industry, focus is often on the person who gets the critical illness or becomes too ill to work – but what about the responsibility that may fall to their partner or children, and the strain and worry that come with this? It’s important that family aren’t left to struggle on without knowing what support is available to them – such as respite breaks or counselling – or how to access it.

By recommending a protection plan that comes with added-value services, such as our Helping Hand product, you can help make sure your clients and their families get access to the ongoing practical and emotional support they’ll need if they become carers.

You can find out more about how Helping Hand can help by visiting adviser.royallondon.com/unconventional

Sources: 1. www.carers.org; 2. Carers UK State of Caring report, 2016