Unpaid carers looking after loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic are saving the taxpayer £530 million per day, according to new research by Carers UK.
The new study, released on Carers Rights Day, revealed care provided by unpaid carers was valued at £135 billion for the eight months of the pandemic so far as people took on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and need support.
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “With every day that this pandemic goes on, unpaid carers are being pushed to the limit providing ever more care for loved ones with fast-diminishing support.
“They say they feel completely overlooked, overwhelmed, and can’t go on like this.”
Carers Rights Day aims to raise awareness of the work done by unpaid carers and help those providing care understand their rights and know where to find support.
Carers UK is now calling on ministers to “recognise the contribution of millions of carers” and “protect their health and wellbeing” during the crisis.
Today #CarersRightsDay. Every year, this day helps us raise vital awareness of the work of unpaid carers and their needs, ensures carers are aware of their rights and lets carers know where to get help and support. Find out more here: https://t.co/bbHPR5FUAj pic.twitter.com/RggJj8Hgbr
— Carers UK (@CarersUK) November 26, 2020
The charity has urged the Government to increase the income of carers entitled to Carer’s Allowance, saying an extra £20 a week is needed to match the increase made to Universal Credit.
Previous research by the charity found 81 per cent of carers have been taking on more care since the start of the pandemic, with nearly two-thirds worried about how they will manage over the coming winter.
Walker added ministers “urgently” needed to review carers’ breaks services and increase investment so carers could take a break.
“Without crucial breaks services up and running this winter, we will only see more unpaid carers break down and an increase in hospital admissions at a time when the health system is already under significant pressure,” she added.
“The Government has to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by carers during this pandemic – the value of which is a staggering £530 million every single day – and give back to carers by prioritising their health, wellbeing and resilience this winter.”
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