Eurocarers, the European Association working for and with informal carers, warmly welcomes the European Commission’s call for further investment by member states in fully-fleshed and accessible health and long-term care services as well as its suggestion to credit care duties in pension systems, as part of the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) 2017.
According to recent research, informal carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care. Carers are therefore an inherent as well as an indispensable part of the provision, organisation and sustainability of health and social care systems in Europe. Nevertheless, caring can have – if not adequately supported – challenging consequences for carers. It can lead to difficulties in balancing paid work and care responsibilities, it can impact on their physical and mental health, and it can generate financial difficulties and poverty, due to cut backs in social provision and direct costs of care. Advances in medicine also mean that carers find themselves having to deliver more and more sophisticated levels of care, with very little training and minimal support.