Sunday, 25 July 2010

Carers & the Economy

Is this a case of knowing the cost, but not the value?

Now I am both a carer, 3x over in some ways and an employer/business owner.

My father suffers from Myasthenia Gravis, my wife has visual impairment and other issues, due to a brain tumour while carrying our son, who in turn is severely Autistic with no speech. As I am also an employer, I know he value of and the need for flexibility on both sides with carers and their roles.

It is indicative, to me, of the value placed on carers in that dictionaries in PC’s and Mac’s do not recognize the word. Ironically they suggest it should be career, the one thing most carers for go to support their loved ones.

It is great to see that at least Oxfordshire County Council is starting to appreciate the roles of carers and employers who understand their needs. The new logo avaialabe from this council is a great way to promote the needs of carers in general.

On the other hand it was disappointing to her this week that the County intends to close its carers centres, these provide an opportunity for greater social contact and a chance to get away from the cage that is home, not very empathetic in my view.

Finally, If it’s OK with you lets get some perspective on the value of carers to the UK ?

Carers save the Government and ergo you the tax payer £87 Billion a year, this will rise as the 6 Million carers there are today more than doubles to 13 million in ten years time.

Based on approximated figures taken from the government’s “Blue Book” of national statistics:

Carers save £ 87 Billion Government Defence Budget £32Billion

Carers save £ 87 Billion Government Public Order Budget £30Billion

Carers save £ 87 Billion Government Education Budget £63Billion

Finally here are some facts care of the Princes Royal Trust for Carers

UK Facts

Adult carers:

• There are almost 6 million carers in the UK today.
• One in ten adults in the UK is a carer.
• 13 million people can expect to become carers in the next decade.
• Over one in five – or 1.2 million - carers spends over 50 hours a week on their caring responsibilities.
• 42% of carers are men.
• The peak age for caring is 45-64. 20% of adults in this age group provide care.
• Of the 15.2 million employees aged 16-74 in full-time work, 1.6 million provide at least some unpaid care –
144,000 provide 50 or more hours a week.
• More than 80% of carers say that caring has had an adverse impact on their health.
• It is estimated carers save the country / Government £87 billion each year yet the decision to care can
mean a commitment to future poverty. Many give up an income, future employment prospects and pension
rights to become a carer.
• The Princess Royal Trust for Carers supports over 400,000 carers through 144 Carers’ Centres throughout
the UK.

Young carers:

• The 2001 Census indicated that there are 175,000 young carers aged under 18 in the UK today. However, a poll commissioned by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 2004 indicates that the number of young carers could be much higher.
• Over 13,000 care for over 50 hours per week.
• Young carers may look after relatives with a range of issues, including mental or physical illness, disability or alcohol or substance misuse.
• The average age of a young carer is 12.
• The lives of young carers are in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person.
• Almost 1/3 of young carers have educational difficulties. Many young carers miss days off school to care for someone. Some leave school with no qualifications. Most experience bullying and isolation from their peers.
• The Princess Royal Trust for Carers supports approximately 25,000 young carers through 85 young carers’ services throughout the UK.