Number of Solihull carers needing support increases by a third - The Solihull Observer

Number of Solihull carers needing support increases by a third

Solihull Editorial 25th Apr, 2018   0

THE NUMBER of carers needing support has risen by a third in the last two years, a Solihull charity has revealed.

Carers Trust Solihull (CTS) – an independent charity supporting carers since 2002 – says the number of referrals it has received in the last two years has risen by 30 per cent.

It also believes the population of carers in Solihull will rise every year by 1,000 – the number of carers currently stands at 28,000.

Solihull council reports show around 60 per cent of carers who had received support were reported as satisfied with the level they received.

This is lower than the UK average of 71 per cent.

The situation is also worsening for those who receive care with a fifth saying they were dissatisfied with services, which is seven per cent higher than the national average, according to the latest Carers Survey.

About 58 per cent of service users have indicated their overall quality of life is good, which is lower than the national average of 63 per cent.

Adult social care is in the spotlight amid many West Midlands local authorities implementing a three per cent council tax rise to fulfill responsibilities in care – in line with government limits.

Councils claim it is a response to government funding cuts to local authorities, amid rising demand for care.

As we reported this month, Solihull’s population of over 85-year-olds has increased by 57 per cent since 2006 – compared to a 28 per cent UK increase.

The wider implications of such an ageing population include a likely increase in demand for voluntary and community services, rising numbers of carers and increased risk of illness, social isolation and loneliness.

The Draft Solihull Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2017/18 projects the number of carers will increase by 23 per cent between 2017 and 2030.

Around a quarter of carers in the borough claim they don’t do anything they value or enjoy with their time, they have no control over their daily life and they feel they are neglecting themselves.

Just over a fifth say they feel socially isolated and they feel they have no encouragement or support in their role.

CTS said the national survey showed on average carers were providing 75 hours of care per week and had been caring for more than 10 years.

Chief executive Brandon Scott-Omenka said: “The trust works closely with Solihull council, the NHS Health Trust, providing contracted support services to Solihull’s carer and liaising with other third sector charities in the borough.

“We have seen the number of referrals rise significantly over the last two years. This is not just older spouses caring for a husband or wife but also includes, adults caring for parents, young adults caring for siblings and school-age carers supporting an ailing parent or sibling.

“Many carers in the borough have savings above the mean tested level that excludes them from non-fee paying care support.

“There are many adult carers who have given up work to care for their loved ones and see a life time’s savings or rainy day reserves used up whilst they provide full-time care.

“The trust benefits from contracted funding from Solihull council and also seeks to fundraise to support our vital work.

“Our work with young carers won the national young people now Awards.

“All charities operating in the borough have been required to demonstrate they are value for money and increase the outcomes they achieve. Long-term funding remains a concern.”

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