11th November 2014
There are more than 3.6 million over-50s caring for relatives and loved ones without pay, a study by Saga has revealed.
Unpaid carers save the taxpayer millions every month and an estimated 792,000 over-50s have quit work or changed their hours in order to carry out this role
They may be husband, wives, grandparents or friends to the person in their care, but they will undoubtedly be making some kind of personal financial sacrifice in order to offer their help.
Research by Saga Personal Finance shows that nearly a fifth of Britain’s over 50s regularly care for an elderly loved one or friend without financial reward, in their own home or at another location.
Rather than making plans for their own retirement, many Britons are giving up their time and money to help others who are facing chronic illness, disability or frailty.
Many unpaid carers foot the bill for a huge range of costs .The majority say they spend on average £170 per month. Overall that is some £612 million, but this figure doesn’t take into account the opportunity cost of not being able to work.
Family carers also spend money on altering their homes to make life better for loved ones, such as adding rails and ramps. Almost a quarter of unpaid carers have done so and these adaptations can cost thousands of pounds.
Jeff Bromage, chief operating officer, Saga Personal Finance, said: “Unpaid family carers do so much good for other people and society as a whole. In doing so, many don’t count the cost to their own pocket or health. They are the glue that holds our caring society together.
“Saga is calling for extra help for those that can’t afford home adaptations, which can be vital for the quality of life of both the carer and the person receiving care.”