Campaign to highlight invaluable work of older carers

Two older carers from Oxfordshire standing with Age UK Chief Executive Tom Wright CBE and Prime Minister David Cameron.

(Photo credit: Crown copyright)

Age UK is campaigning to raise the profile of older carers.

We've heard from many people in later life who are caring for a spouse, partner, relative or friend. They tell us they feel undervalued and ignored:

  • There are 2.8 million people 50 and over providing unpaid care in the UK, including 5% of people 85 and over
  • A quarter of all carers 75 and over provide 50 or more hours of informal care each week
  • Carers save the UK economy an estimated £87 billion a year

Older carers need more support

Our 'Invisible but Invaluable' campaign is calling for financial, emotional and practical support for older carers.

The campaign launched with a photographic exhibition. One of the displays at this is hundreds of individual cards completed by older carers describing their experiences of caring, and their thoughts on what things would help them to look after their loved ones and to improve their own quality of life.

What we are doing

opens link in new window Download our 'Invisible but Invaluable' report (PDF, 1MB)

We want the government to:

  • Introduce a Carer’s Allowance for pensioners
  • Simplify applying for Carer’s Allowance and related benefits
  • Give us a statutory entitlement to the support we need to have a good quality of life, to protect our health, and to reduce our isolation
  • Honour funding already agreed, and ensure it is really used to support us

We want the NHS and health professionals to:

  • Let us know that we can register as carers with our GP and have regular health checks
  • Consult us and respect our views
  • Find a way to identify ‘hidden’ carers and provide them with information and support

We want local authorities to:

  • Make us aware that we are entitled to have our needs assessed
  • Ensure that we have a choice of appropriate, flexible and good quality services to meet the needs of both the person we care for and ourselves
  • Help us to get together to support one another
  • Consult us about services

What you can do

If you are a carer, or know someone who is, we would love to hear from you. You can email your experiences to

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By working together in local forums, we are making our voices heard on the issues that matter to us in later life, influencing the provision of services locally, regionally and nationally.

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Care in Crisis

We’re calling on the Government to reform the care system, to ensure that people in later life receive high quality care and support .

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