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Breaking Point - the social care burden on women

As the State has retreated and failed to fulfil its social care duties, it is women who have often paid the price.

Our report shines a light on what is happening to many women across the country today, through the stories of four women who are caring for loved ones.

Read the report

Sarah, Rasila, Joyce and Elaine have had to make difficult decisions about working and caring for loved ones, putting their own lives and interests on hold. These are their stories.

The national picture

  • There are 1.25 million sandwich carers in the UK. These are people caring for an older relative as well as bringing up a family. 68% (850,743) are women.
  • Sandwich carers' ages range from 20s to 60s, but those aged 35-44 are the most likely to be carers with 35% being in this age group.
  • 73% of sandwich carers provide under 10 hours of caring a week but 7% provide over 35 hours per week – that's 88,391 sandwich carers doing over 35 hours each week.
  • The oldest sandwich carers (55-64) provide the longest hours with 29% of them providing over 20 hours of caring a week.
  • In total 78% of sandwich carers are in paid work and 49% of those carers providing over 35 hours are still in paid work.

It's time the Government delivered

The failings of the care system mean that women in particular are often left to pick up the pieces. Some are at breaking point and many more at risk of it.

How much longer can women carry the burden of our crumbling social care system? The delays and false promises need to end.

"It's hard work, it's exhausting, I don't think there's a day gone by in the last three years where I've not sat there and cried my eyes out."

Sarah, who cares for her mum

Care in crisis

Too many older people don’t get the essential care they desperately need. We're campaigning to get the Government to address this.

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Last updated: Mar 08 2019

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