Older informal carers are usually people over retirement age who are looking after a partner or disabled child.
We have found at the Wai Yin Society that older Chinese carers need more support. Although many find caring a rewarding and loving expression of their relationship with the care recipient, they also tell us that they feel invisible and undervalued.
Many of them experience declining health, which is exacerbated by caring for their loved ones. Many are left feeling stressed and exhausted.
Older carers often receive no financial support, or do so only after going through a very complicated system. The problem is usually worse for older Chinese carers.
Low levels of English means that Chinese carers are often unable to understand their support rights from mainstream organisations. Because their English is so limited, our older carers can feel very isolated and vulnerable.
We are pleased that the Wai Yin Society Sheung Lok Centre, staff and volunteers, can continue to serve this very important demographic in our local communities. However, we hope that older Chinese residents will be better recognised and supported in the future.
Circle Steele is the CEO of the Wai Yin Society
Have you been affected by any of these issues?
If you have been affected by any of the issues described in this blog, or simply need someone to reach out to, you can call Independent Age’s freephone helpline for information and advice on 0800 319 6789.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age.