New analysis reveals growing army of carers aged over 80 – Alzheimer’s Society comments

Posted On: 
19th December 2019

New research has revealed that the number of carers aged over 80 has rocketed over the last decade.

According to Age UK analysis, nearly one in three older people aged 80 and over are now carers and since 2010 the number of carers in this age group has risen by almost a quarter to 970,000.

It is estimated by the charity that they provide 23 million hours of unpaid care a week which adds up to 1.2 billion hours of care a year, saving the health and care system a massive £23 billion a year.

Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer's Society, said:  “Dementia is heart-breaking for families, and it is utterly unacceptable that a spiralling number of people over 80 are facing a dreadful double whammy when it comes to dementia care. Not only are they dealing with partners and loved ones developing dementia, they are also shouldering the gruelling pressure of caring for them alone – because professional care comes with a huge price tag, can be extremely hard to access and too often still does not meet the specific needs of people with dementia.

“Our own research has shown that nearly two in five carers of people with dementia are over 75, and one in ten are over 85. The way their goodwill is being exploited by our Government is unfair and unacceptable.

“That’s why our Fix Dementia Care campaign is urging the Government to spread the cost between us all – just like schools, the NHS or any other public service. Boris Johnson promised that he would ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’, and there will be justified outrage from 850,000 people with dementia and their families if he doesn’t.”