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National charities launch survey for older people looking after loved ones

Age Cymru and Carers Trust Wales have today on Carers Rights Day (26 November) launched a Wales-wide survey as part of their partnership project funded by Welsh Government. The survey will help provide a better understanding of the needs of people aged 50 or over who provide unpaid support to family or friends but aren’t accessing any services, information or advice.

Wales has the highest proportion of older carers in the UK, with more than 210,000 aged 50 or over, and large numbers of these are so called ‘hidden carers’ who don’t access services or support for their role, or even identify as an carer.

Without effective support many of these ‘hidden carers’ can become exhausted and ill themselves.

Age Cymru’s Heather Ferguson says: “We need to find out more about the reasons why older people do not identify as unpaid carers, what type of information would be useful to them in their role, and what needs to be done so they seek support sooner.

“Once we gain such insight, we can help develop person centred support and improve the information and help available to those who undertake such important roles. Equally important, we can share our learning with health and social care services as well as the voluntary sector, who all rely on the contributions made every day by this army of ‘hidden carers’.”

Carers Trust Wales’ Kate Cubbage says: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Age Cymru to make sure that more older carers are aware of their rights and able to access meaningful support should they need it. This survey will be invaluable in helping us to understand the types of information and support older carers want and need and how best to connect them to it.”

The survey is open to anyone aged 50 or over in Wales who looks after family members or friends because of long-term physical or mental ill-health, disability, or older age, and who don’t have any contact with carer support services.

To take part in the survey visit agecymru.org.uk/carerssurvey or call 029 2043 1555 for a paper copy of the survey and a prepaid return envelope. The survey closes on Monday 11 January 2021.

Anyone who is supporting a loved one without any formal links to services is invited to get in touch with us to talk about your experiences and at the same access information to help you in your crucial role.