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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2006): Social care - UK - community care

Carers’ aspirations and decisions around work and retirement

H. Arksey and others
Department for Work and Pensions, 2005 (Research report; 290)

A complex interplay of factors influenced carers’ decisions about work, retirement and care-giving.  These included financial issues, carers’ health, personal factors, work-related issues, support services, issues related to the care recipient and distance and travelling times.  Generally decisions were the result of clusters of factors.  Carers’ knowledge about pensions in general and the impact of care-giving on pensions in particular was low.  Many carers prioritised managing current financial pressures over planning for their retirement.  Services that would help carers combine work and care included longer day centre hours, childcare and after school clubs for disabled children and domestic help.  Carers’ centres also indirectly helped carers remain in work by providing counselling, advocacy, referrals to social services and access to short breaks.  Working carers also benefited from access to flexible starting and finishing times, and the ability to take time off for planned appointments.

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