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Fox, Alex

The cost of unpaid caring

Caring takes time and, as we know, time costs. With an ageing population that is living longer, there is less time and less money to be allocated to older people. This article looks at the role and contribution of informal carers to the social care system, and says that more should be done to recognise their skills and knowledge, and better support should be given to help prevent their ill-health, thus helping to reduce the rising cost of formal care to local social services. 

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:24

Carers and the NHS

The huge role of unpaid family carers is outlined in this essay, together with examples of good practices by NHS organisations to support their needs. The authors point out that with declining NHS resources there will be even more reliance on family carers. 

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:18

Personalisation and the carers agenda

Social care is rising up the government’s political agenda. When care minister Ivan Lewis responded to this year’s hard-hitting State of Social Care report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) with a review of eligibility criteria, he was announcing a policy shift with implications far beyond social care.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

From independence to interdependence: integration means 'think family'

This article reviews current policies and their impact on carers' lives, and highlights the potential limitations of a more personalised approach to care. Using some key research findings and illustrative case studies, the article argues that we should build on the achievements of the personalisation reforms, but not limit our ambition to offering individuals more choice and control over their services. Instead, there should be a focus on individuals achieving ordinary life chances and families achieving emotional and financial sustainability.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:13

'Who cares about us?' The unmet needs of young carers

Young carers are children and young people who look after a family member with illness, disability or mental health or substance misuse problems. Often the relative is not getting the support needed from statutory services. Of an estimated 175,000 young carers, 13,000, including 3,500 at primary school, provide more than 50 hours a week. Asks why they are hidden and discusses the failing education and adults’ services. Most adult carers, let alone young carers, are  unaware of their rights.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Unpaid carers hold the key to sustainable social care : is it time they got the credit?

This paper reviews the challenges faced by unpaid family carers and the current support and services available to them. It argues that current carer support should be built on and presents the evidence for doing so, including evidence of the opportunities to make substantial savings in residential care costs. The paper suggests a new way in which proposed resource allocation and personal budget systems could be developed in order to sustain caring, avoiding the risk of a new perverse incentive to families to end caring roles.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10