Workers caring for elderly relatives should receive same support as working parents
• 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.
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.
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
• 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.firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow us on Twitter @SimplyhealthUK and at Facebook.com/SimplyhealthUK
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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.