LETTER: Cutbacks are piling pressure on carers

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There is no such thing as retirement for older carers, so says a report from the Carers Trust.

Older carers are now saying they are now doing the hardest job they have ever done, with no option to ring in sick if they are not well.

Just when the older carers thought it was time to retire and put their feet up, many are finding that there is no such thing as retirement.

In stead of retiring, they have become or will remain lifelong unpaid carers for their sick or disabled partner or adult children.

There is a new report ‘Retirement on Hold’ which highlights some of the challenges facing the older population. 
The report gives a snapshot of the battles some people are now fighting, including caring for someone else when they have their own age related-related illnesses.
Many carers are struggling to find their way round the social care system, and some are saying that by the time they’ve received vital information it is too late. 
The burden of caring has resulted in them becoming exhausted, frustrated and sick themselves. 
With over more than 1.8 million unpaid carers over 60 in England, combined with a longer life expectancy, the older generation can expect to care for longer and later into their lives. 
Without more financial support for social care and help on a practical level, they will have to work harder without the expectation of annual leave. 
The report has found out that some carers are using their own money to finance for care services or respite breaks without realising that the person they care for should be assessed for the cost. 
We need local authorities and society to think and plan ahead, so that the needs of older carers, so vital a resource to our stretched health and care system are met.

G. Stothard

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