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Carers’ leave and funeral costs

In her latest News Space blog, Age Space’s Annabel James looks at news and views about elderly care and carers.

Should a carer for a family members get their own version of a “maternity leave” job safety net?

The Office for National Statistics report, Living longer: caring in later working life, drawing on data from several studies over recent years, reveals how caring responsibilities – for older relatives, disabled family members, friends, children and grandchildren – will be as much of a concern for employers as it is for employees.

Employees who care for loved ones should receive statutory paid leave and have the right to return to work once their circumstances change.

That’s according to the Centre for Ageing Better, following the publication of a new study found that nearly three in five carers in England and Wales were aged 50 years and over, and one in five people aged 50 to 69 years were informal carers.

The prevalence of people in their 50s and 60s among carers means that the very people being encouraged to stay in the job market as the population ages are often having to leave it or accept reduced hours. What do you think?

For love or money

How do you value a funeral? The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has just announced an inquiry into the cost of funerals, an  investigation into the online and pricing structures of the big providers, and the efficacy of pre-paid funeral plans. But what should a funeral cost?

Here’s my blog about the price of death. And don’t forget we have a comprehensive section on A Good Death too

Pension credits – are you missing out?

Tens of thousands of unpaid carers are missing out on free credits that would boost their state pension. Just under 17,400 applied last year, out of around 200k estimated to be eligible.

If you get Carer’s Allowance, you get an automatic boost to your state pension.

But if you are a carer for 20 hours plus a week and don’t get the allowance, you must apply for credits yourself. Read more here

Foot off the gas please, Dad!

The number of drivers aged 70 or older banned from driving for medical reasons has increased by nearly 150 per cent in the space of a decade, according to new data.

Almost 22,500 elderly motorists had their licences revoked on medical grounds in 2018, according to DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) figures. We know this is a real bone of contention in so many families. Will this mean stricter enforcement of eyesight regulations and stricter guidance from GPs in the future? Watch this space.

When the boss came to stay

The Chief Executive of a care charity has gained a lot of support for her stint spending time “living” in a care home as if she were a resident. Sara Livadeas of The Fremantle Trust spent three nights at a 60-place home and reports on the food: good; the staff: hardworking and the telly: noisy.

Read about her experience here. But come on, is she the only similar Chief Exec to do this? Surely it should be on the to-do list for all of ’em!

And finally…

Lego therapy is helping people to rediscover communication skills and encourage them to socialise. Watch this BBC video on how a Manchester care home is using “play” sessions to help residents socialise and keep busy. We say good luck to the chap who wants to build a Lancaster bomber!


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