Informal Carers - Support for the Carers

Informal Carers - Support for the Carers

As the population ages, the demand for care services for the elderly continues to rise. In the United Kingdom, many families take on the responsibility of providing informal care for their elderly loved ones. This blog post will explore the statistics surrounding informal care of the elderly in the UK, shedding light on the important role that family members play in supporting their aging relatives.

How many family members provide informal care in the UK?

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were approximately 7.6 million informal carers in the UK in 2020. Out of these, a significant portion were family members providing care for elderly relatives. In fact, around 4.5 million people in the UK provide unpaid care to family members aged 65 and over.

What types of care do family members provide?

Family members who provide informal care for the elderly in the UK offer a wide range of support. This includes assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Family carers also help with household tasks, medication management, and transportation to medical appointments.

How many hours do family carers dedicate to caring for the elderly?

The dedication of family carers is truly remarkable. On average, family members spend around 19.5 hours per week providing care for their elderly loved ones. This amounts to a significant commitment of time and energy, often on top of their own personal and professional responsibilities.

What are the challenges faced by family carers?

While providing informal care can be rewarding, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Many family carers report feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and isolated. Balancing caregiving duties with other aspects of life can be difficult, and the emotional toll of seeing a loved one in declining health can be significant.

What support is available for family carers in the UK?

The UK government recognizes the vital role that family carers play and offers support to help alleviate some of the challenges they face. Carer's Allowance, for example, provides financial assistance to those who provide at least 35 hours of care per week. Additionally, local authorities offer various support services, such as respite care and counseling, to help family carers navigate their caregiving journey.


Family members in the UK play a crucial role in providing informal care for the elderly. The statistics surrounding informal care highlight the immense dedication and sacrifice made by these individuals. As the demand for care services continues to grow, it is important to recognize and support the invaluable contribution of family carers in ensuring the well-being of our aging population.

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