UK,
03
October
2017
|
11:51
Europe/London

Workers caring for elderly relatives should receive same support as working parents

Summary

• Simplyhealth research released today at the Conservative Party Conference reveals that over half (58%) of UK adults believe the Government should play a greater role in caring for the country’s ageing population

• Almost half (44%) of people would welcome care credits – similar to childcare tax free credits offered to parents

• Two-thirds (66%) think employers should offer specific support to working carers and that the Government should support employers to do this

Two-thirds (66%) of UK adults believe the Government should offer working carers of elderly relatives the same level of support that is offered to working parents, according to latest statistics from Simplyhealth.

Almost half of people (44%) think care credits – similar to the support parents receive via childcare tax free credits - should be made available to those who are caring for an ageing relative, and three in 10 (30%) would like to see care vouchers introduced.

The latest Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker results were released during this morning’s public panel debate ‘Social care and the just about managing’ at the Conservative Party Conference, held in partnership with the Social Market Foundation. The debate explored how working carers can be better supported and included Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Care Minister, on the panel which was chaired by Chris Smyth, Health Editor at The Times.

Although the majority of people (58%) believe the Government should play a greater role in caring for the UK’s ageing population, two-thirds think employers should offer specific support to working carers and that the Government should support them to do this.

In addition to care credits and care vouchers, the results reveal half of people asked think more support to remain in work should be offered people caring for an elderly relative, such as through carer friendly policies and recognition as a carer.

The UK has an ageing population and with people working longer and having children later in life, it is likely there will be a rise in the number of ‘sandwich’ carers – those caring for children as well as elderly relatives.

Raman Sankaran, Head of Care for Life at Simplyhealth, who took part in this morning's debate
Families already take caring for their loved ones very seriously and many are struggling to juggle caring with their work and family responsibilities. We believe that focusing on the workplace is where we could see biggest impact in the shortest time.

Employers can help by truly understanding the problems that carers within their workforce are facing, and provide support, understanding and flexibility. The supportive culture of an organisation can make a crucial difference and we know that many employers want to help.
 
Raman Sankaran, Head of Care for Life at Simplyhealth, who took part in this morning's debate

To enable employers to better support working cares, Simplyhealth has developed Simplyhealth Care for Life an online service that provides practical advice and expert support on ageing and caring for ageing loved ones. Care for Life offers access to a range of trusted local experts to support the employees specific needs, answering questions from a specific ageing illness such as Alzheimer’s to legal and financial help when writing a will.

In addition, Simplyhealth have teamed up with technology company HealthUnlocked to develop an online freely-accessible peer-led forum so that those caring for elderly friends or relatives can share their concerns in a supportive environment. Visit https://healthunlocked.com/careforlife

Notes to Editors

• Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker research, September 2017. 1,974 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+

• Conservative party panel event: Social care and the ‘just about managing’ – who cares for the carers. Panellists were Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Care Minister, Giles Meyer, interim Chief Executive, The Carers Trust, Nigel Keohane, research director, SMF, and Raman Sankaran, Simplyhealth

For further information:Laura Miller, Communications Specialist 07884 315881 Corporate.communicationsmailbox@simplyhealth.co.ukFollow us on Twitter @SimplyhealthUK and at Facebook.com/SimplyhealthUK

About Simplyhealth

Since 1872 – long before the existence of the NHS – we’ve been helping people to make the most of life, by managing their everyday health needs. We’re proud to be the leading provider of health cash plans, dental payment and pet health plans. Whereas once we were known purely for cash plans, we now offer a wide range of products and services to cater for peoples’ everyday health needs – now and into the future.

Helping people make the most of life is our sole purpose and giving back is a huge part of that. In 2016 we were able to donate over £1.7 million to help support charities like Revitalise, Brainwave, Auditory Verbal and RNIB. Our future success and performance will enable us to deliver our ongoing pledge to donate 10% of our profits to charity every year.

Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

About the Social Market Foundation

The Social Market Foundation is a non-partisan think tank which believes that fair markets, complemented by open public services, increase prosperity and help people to live well.

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