Walking the tightrope: the challenges of combining work and care in later life

Age UK, Carers UK
Publication year:
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Drawing on an analysis of the literature and available data, and discussions with carers aged 50 and over, this report looks at the challenges older people face when combining work and caring. It highlights the barriers they face in the workplace and the compromises they have to make in their own working lives, such as turning down promotion. It also examines the negative impact on carers' forced to leave the labour market due to their caring responsibilities. This can include financial disadvantage and poorer health and wellbeing. It estimates that caring as little as five hours a week can have a significant impact on employment prospects, with those caring for more than 10 hours a week at marked risk of leaving the labour market altogether. The report then presents some possible solutions to help retain older carers in the workplace, and includes practice examples from a range of organisations. Case studies and quotations from focus groups and discussions held with carers are also included throughout. The report then sets out a series of recommendations for employers, Government and others to help carers remain in the workplace. These include: improving access to flexible working; increasing awareness of the challenges carers face within the workplace, particularly among managers; supporting carers through times of transition and in emergencies; improving access to care services; and improving financial support for carers. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
older people, employment, carers, ageing, user views, case studies, adults, access to services, conditions of employment;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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