POST Online Media Lite Edition


Cost of unpaid caring in England valued at $74 billion

Staff Writer |
Unpaid adult carers in England provide care worth around $74 billion a year, a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

ONS said social care and the money spent on it is currently a hot topic in Britain, especially with a rapidly ageing population and a higher life expectancy, with much less is known about people who end up working as unpaid carers for their family members.

"As people get older, not only are they generally more reliant on health services like the National Health Service (NHS) for medical treatment; they also require ongoing care.

At age 65 a man will spend, on average, 44 percent of the rest of his life in poorer health, and a woman, 47 percent of her life," said ONS.

The amount spent by the government on social care in England last year was around 22 billion U.S. dollars, less than seven years earlier when spending was at its highest, according to the Health and Social Care Information Center (HSCIC).

ONS said the studies show that last year there were informal carers in eight percent of Britain's households, with somebody being cared for at home.

Nearly two-thirds the unpaid carers were females, nearly a third saying they spent 35 hours or more a week as an informal carers.

Half of adult carers shared their caring alongside doing full-time or part-time jobs, with nearly a third saying they spent 35 hours or more a week as an informal carer.

Many unpaid carers performed tasks shopping, form filling as well as such as changing bandages and washing people.

ONS said the figures show that both men and women aged over 50 increased the amount they spent on care by 15 percent and 21 percent respectively between 2000 and 2015.

This, said ONS, illustrated a growing need for care resources.

ONS estimated that when women reach 50, they are likely to spend 5.9 years of their remaining life as unpaid carers. At 65, they spend 2.6 years as unpaid carers.

In contrast, men at 50 are likely to spend 4.9 years of their remaining life as an unpaid carer and at age 65, it's 2.7 years.

What to read next

Autism care costs could hit $1 trillion
Greece seeks to recoup €2.4 billion in unpaid energy bills
Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships in Belgium