One of the most difficult tasks to take on is that of caring for a loved one. While a person would prefer to provide the loving care that only they can provide, the task is monumental to take on, especially for those with in lower income brackets. Whether that person is ill or elderly, the task is daunting. It strains emotionally, mentally, physically and financially the person supplying care. The financial burden multiplies all the others and many of those care takers suffer high levels of stress and depression as they struggle to provide care while facing threats of repossession of their home and bankruptcy due to expenses.
Since providing care can be a 24 hour and 7 day a week need, most carers find it difficult to hold down full time jobs. They must ask for help from other family members or friends as they cannot usually pay for help. The amount of time allotted for a job is usually only part time and then when they are not on the job they are providing much needed care to their loved one.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers released data showing that half of all carers that work are earning below 10,000 pounds per year. Sixty per cent reported dipping into savings to pay expenses and two-fifths are in danger of losing their homes.
There has been a movement set forth to increase the amount of Carer’s Allowance. Increasing any public benefit spending is a difficult task in the face of major budget spending cuts. However, it is quick to see that 53.90 pounds per week allowance falls short of what is likely needed by carers, especially when the amount can be lowered by authorities to offset other benefits received. With the largest age group of the population now aging into retirement and senior age groups, the need for family carers will be increasing in the coming decades so many will be watching to see how the government treats this special category of need.
Carole Cochrane, chief executive at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: “The new coalition government has an opportunity to improve the lives of millions of carers. As part of their welfare reform they must ensure greater financial support for carers. And they must deliver the improved community support for carers to combine work and care, as pledged already by the government in June. Six million carers will judge the government by the decisions they make in the next two months.”