Caring for older people »

Standing Up for Carers’ Rights

[08/12/2011 | No comment]

There are around 6.4 million unpaid carers in the UK who provide care and support to family, friends and neighbours. Not only do carers provide a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable older and disabled people in our society, they also save the country an estimated £119 billion each year.

I’ve seen at first hand the vital role carers play in my constituency, but too often they go without the support they need. As your local MP and the Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, I am determined to help change this.

That is why on 2nd December I actively backed Carers Rights Day. This annual event focuses on promoting carers’ rights to information, advice, support and other services. I visited Age UK’s Centre in Leicester to talk to users and staff, and to learn about the fantastic services on offer. This includes a new, confidential service called Supporting Older Carers which offers emotional and practical support and guidance to carers aged 60 and over who look after a loved one diagnosed with a life limiting illness.

This is an important project, which I think could make a real difference to carers in my constituency. I am also calling on the Government to offer a better deal for carers, including through cross party talks on developing a fair and sustainable system for funding social care in future.

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