Global debate on care crisis

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Caroline Waters OBE, Director, People and Policy for BT Group and Chair of Employers for Carers will be speaking at the 5th International Carers Conference 2010: New Frontiers in Caring, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 9th July 2010.

Hosted by Carers UK and the University of Leeds from 8th – 11th July the conference will feature, among others, eminent speakers from Japan, Europe and the USA and will discuss four key themes: Caring and Employment; Funding, Financial and Legal Support; Health, Social Care and Well-being; and Technology, Design and the Built Environment.

Social care has dominated pre-election headlines, and will be high up on the agenda for any new UK government in May. With 6 million carers in the UK, half of them juggling work and caring simultaneously, the UK statistics are stark. This is a global issue however; a demographic tsunami sweeping the world, with 100 million carers in Europe, or 25 per cent of the EU25 countries citizens[1], and 50 million carers in the US.

The world's fast-ageing population means that by 2050, those in middle age will be 3 times more likely than now to be responsible for caring for many of the 2 billion elderly.[2] How to prevent a worldwide social care crisis in a generation's time will be at the heart of the conference with key international speakers from business, health and technology sectors taking part in this crucial debate.

The economic cost of failing to support carers is huge. In the US alone, the cost of absenteeism of working family carers loses business between $17 and $33.6 billion annually[3]. But practices like flexible working have been proven in the UK to reduce stress-related absence by 26%[4].At the conference delegates will:

  • Hear from a range of internationally renowned speakers
  • Participate and present in workshops and poster sessions presenting cutting edge perspectives on the four key conference themes
  • Learn about latest innovations at the conference exhibition
  • Network with colleagues at a range of exciting social events Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.For more information on the conference, and how you can be part of the debate visit: www.carersconference.com

[1] Alber, J. and Kohler, U. 2004. Health and care in an enlarged Europe, Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, p.60.

[2] Xxviii Executive Summary, World Population Ageing 2007, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WPA2007/ES-English.pdf

[3] MetLife Mature Market Institute, The MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S. Business, 14, July 2006, available at http://www.metlife.com/FileAssets/MMI/MMIStudiesCaregiverCostStudy.pdf. Caregiver refers to a spouse, a child, or other private individual who takes responsibility for a patient's health.

[4] Who cares Wins: A Report for Carers UK by Centre for Social Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, 2006.