Why We Should Listen to Care-Givers

From Planet 236

by Georgia Burdett

Georgia Burdett details the financial, emotional and physical strains experienced by carers in Wales. She explores literature from Wales that offers hope for those experiencing the challenges of caring for loved ones, and outlines how the current social care system needs to be radically reformed.

At present there are over 370,000 adults and children in Wales (more than the population of Cardiff) who support a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.1 An ageing population, or ‘silver tsunami’, means that as people continue to live longer, more than three in five people will become carers at some stage during their lives.2 Caring can be tough, and have a huge impact on life plans. For some it’s sudden: a loved one is taken ill or has an accident; a child is born with a disability. For others it creeps up unnoticed: their parents cannot manage on their own any longer, or their partner’s health deteriorates. These unpaid carers provide over 96% of care in Wales,3 and despite the catastrophic impact on them posed by a loss of personal time, they enable their loved ones to get the most out of life, hold families together, and make an enormous contribution to society.

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