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Carers’ Week 2014: ‘It is quite worrying people do not think they will have to care’ - Woodford Green carer

09:00 08 June 2014

More than two thirds of adults believe it is unlikely they will care for someone in the future, according to new statistics.

A YouGov poll, published to mark Carers’ Week 2014, revealed the majority of adults underestimate the chances of providing unpaid care for a loved one.

According to the Carers’ Trust - a charity which provides support for carers for families across Redbridge - three in five people will become carers at some point in their lives.

Kathy Verges, chief executive of the Carers’ Trust, said: “These findings show the importance of continuing to raise awareness of the realities and challenges of caring - particularly to those with long-term health conditions.”

In Redbridge there are more than 29,000 carers caring for a family member or a close friend.

One in eight adults are carers to the elderly, or children or adults living with long-term illnesses or disability.

The number of carers in this country is expected to rise to 9 million by 2037 - an increase of 2.5 million.

“Carers need support and a regular break from their caring role,” added Ms Verges.

“The benefits of high quality respite is always evident in feedback [from carers].”

Ena Martin, of Woodford Green, a carer for more than 20 years, feels more needs to be done to prepare people for caring for a loved-one later in life.

She said: “I think it is quite worrying people do not think they will have to care for a relative. Nobody knows what is going to happen in the future.

“My daughter said only today that her friend has bowel cancer - we just never know what is around the corner. People prefer to be cared for at home, too.”

Ms Martin believes the media and the government should unite to raise awareness for carers.

“I think the media should do a lot more really,” she said. “It is not just the media, though, more pressure needs to be put on the government too.”

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