Carers provide support to family members or friends. Nationally, 15% of households include carers. This represents around 3 million households in England¹.
A person is a provider of unpaid care if they look after or give help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or problems related to old age. This does not include any activities as part of paid employment. The 2011 Census on Provision of Unpaid Care for local authorities in England and Wales reports that 49,836 people in Lancashire provide care to another person for 20 hours or more a week. Approximately 65% of this number provide unpaid care for 50 hours or more a week².
As a hard to reach group, young carers can often be more isolated in the community, and less able or willing to voice their need for support in their caring role.
A number of organisations in Lancashire provide support and advice to young carers therefore data on this group is fragmented. As one of the larger organisations, Barnardos currently support 502 young carers across the county.
Many older people care for sick family members. Census findings in 2011 show that in England and Wales there are around six million people providing unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend.
The possibility of becoming an unpaid carer increases up to age 64. People in the 50-64 age range are the most likely to have an elderly parent to care for.
Becoming an unpaid carer in your 50s increases a persons chances of leaving the labour market for good, is associated with health problems and restricts social and leisure activities.
There are an estimated 36,785 people in Lancashire-12 over the age of 65 providing unpaid care to a partner, family member or other person (2017). By 2035 this number will have risen by an estimated 31% to 48,244. (POPPI (Projecting Older People Population Information), 2017).
Carers UK and the University of Leeds have produced an updated 'Valuing Carers 2015' report, which calculates the value of carers support at a national and regional level. The key points concluded that:
Though this amount will fluctuate as carers move in and out of caring situations, it is expected that this number will continue to increase over time, as higher numbers of people with complex social and health care needs are expected to require support in the future and the population lives longer.
Page updated October 2017