This research briefing examines the use of technology of many different kinds to improve the lives of carers. The authors describe the development of digital services and their potential to continue to improve carers’ experience of arranging, managing and coordinating care, their ability to care for others (linking directly to the self-care programme) and to look after their own health and well-being. They note that with a rising ageing population and a rising pension age, increasingly carers will have to juggle work and care, predicting a need for 40% more carers by 2037. They investigate the type of services which carers provide, and report that:
- carers providing 50 hours or more care a week are twice as likely to suffer ill-health;
- around 2 million people have given up work to care;
- almost 1 in 3 (30%) carers had seen a drop of £20,000 or more a year in their household income as a result of caring, and
- 61% of carers said that they were worried about the impact of caring on their relationships with friends and family.
They conclude that a digital strategy is essential to the success of the drive to integrate health and social care planning through Sustainability and Transformation Plans, and to meeting carers' needs:
- to be identified, recognised and supported;
- to be given information about the condition/s;
- for information to be shared by professionals;
- for care to be well co-ordinated, and
- to be able to access services easily.