UNISON members are well aware of the difficulties faced by carers who struggle to look after older, disabled or ill family members often on their own, as they are the people who currently assess them for the current Carers’ Assessment and will continue to do so when the Carers’ (Scotland) Act is implemented. The recent Scottish Health Survey puts the number of carers at 750,000 adult and 44,000 young carers. This is 1 in 8 of the adult population of Scotland who care, unpaid, for family and friends.
UNISON recognises the importance of supporting carers as they can hold families together, allow those they care for to get the most out of life and save the Scottish economy billions of pounds a year. Many of them are stretched to the limit, attempting to hold down jobs, care for their own families, as well as giving care. Their own health can suffer, as can their career prospects, and they often experience poverty as a result of this.