As the numbers of older people increase in future years, demand for long-term care is also likely to increase substantially. Since the long-term care system in England depends heavily on informal or unpaid care, the increase in demand for long-term care is likely to mean an increase in demand for informal care. [...]
The current paper looks at the supply of informal care specifically by the adult children of older people. The paper makes projections of the numbers of people providing intense care, to older parents1 to 2041. The projections are based on an on-going study of recent past trends in the provision of intense intergenerational care to older people in Great Britain, using the 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000 General Household Survey (GHS) data on provision of informal care (Pickard 2002). The paper examines trends in the probability of providing intense care for older parents over the fifteen years between 1985 and 2000, and asks what would happen to the numbers of people providing care to older parents if these trends were to continue in the coming decades. Because the present study is based on an analysis of past trends in provision of informal care, it allows for some key assumptions underlying the projections of informal care in future years to be examined empirically.