Commenting on the publication of the Carers action plan 2018-2020 today, George McNamara, Director of Policy at Independent Age, said:
“Carers are the backbone of social care providing vital support to millions to help maintain their independence. This is especially true for the 1.3 million older people who account for around 1 in 5 of all carers in England and Wales. Despite this essential role, their contribution still remains undervalued, poorly supported and often hidden.
“Informal caring can be a twenty-four seven way of life. It is often the support provided by a carer that decides whether an older person can continue to live in their family home or have to relocate into residential care.
“This action plan is a positive step forward but it is just a start. Much more needs to be done to fully recognise the value and contribution carers make to individuals and society as a whole.
“The forthcoming social care green paper must see the contribution made by carers as a central component to building a responsive and sustainable social care system. It must be bold and radical in its approach and recognise the support than volunteers can also provide, as well as paid staff. Any half-hearted attempt will only fail those providing such important care.”