Our Nation's many family-based carers provide unpaid home care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. Many people are carers - parents, children, husbands and wives, even friends and neighbours and although it can be immensely rewarding it can also be hard work and extremely stressful.
The 2011 Census shows that:
• Across the UK there are 3,344,000 female carers (58%) and 2,456,000 male carers (42%) providing some level of domiciliary care to friends and relatives.
• Women have a 50:50 chance of providing care by the time they are 59 and are more likely to give up work or take a lower paid job in order to provide long term care for a loved one.
• There are currently 443,000 young carers under the age of 24 who provide home care support of which over 48,000 provide care for 50 hours or more per week.
• The financial costs of being a family based carer giving can be significant. Research shows that 72% of family based carers are financially worse off as a result of becoming carers and that nearly two thirds are spending their own income or savings to pay for care for the person that they look after, with many left in debt as a result.
HOW CROSSROADS CAN HELP FAMILY BASED CARERS
Do you want time to go shopping without having to rush, meet a friend for coffee or a glass of wine, play a round of golf or go for a swim, maybe go to that evening class you've always wanted to attend?