Spotlight on: Who cares?
On call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, carers save the taxpayer billions each year. Keri-Michèle Lodge asks who cares for the carers
“I'm on-call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round,” says Chris Davies. No, Chris Davies is not an overworked doctor. He is one of 5.9 million carers throughout the United Kingdom who provide unpaid care on a regular basis for a disabled, ill, or elderly person. But what does being a carer actually mean? Each carer's situation is different. Some, like Chris, live with the person they care for and provide continuous care. Each day, Chris gives personal care, such as giving drugs and helping the person wash and dress; practical help, such as cooking; and generally keeping an eye on the person. Like Chris, a million UK carers spend more than 50 hours each week caring. Other carers spend a few hours each week helping the person they care for.
Without carers, those cared for would not be able to live independently, and would