The Challenging Roles of Informal Carers
There are different approaches to responding to the growing longterm care needs of ageing populations across the UNECE region. Societies rely to a varying extent on the unpaid labour of informal carers who cover an estimated 70 to 95 percent of all care needs. While informal unpaid care saves public spending on formal care services, the reliance on informal care has many hidden costs. If not adequately supported in their role, informal carers can face negative impacts on their health and well-being, and be forced to reduce or quit employment - putting themselves at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The challenges associated with informal care not only affect carers themselves but society at large: intensive informal caregiving can result in higher demand and costs for health care as a consequence of its negative impact on the physical and mental health of carers, reduced labour market participation and consequently higher risks of poverty and social exclusion.