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A growing care gap? The supply of unpaid care for older people by their adult children in England to 2032

  • LINDA PICKARD (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

A key feature of population ageing in Europe and other more economically developed countries is the projected unprecedented rise in need for long-term care in the next two decades. There is, however, considerable uncertainty over the future supply of unpaid care for older people by their adult children. The future of family care is particularly important in countries planning to reform their long-term care systems, as is the case in England. This article makes new projections of the supply of intense unpaid care for parents aged 65 and over in England to 2032, and compares these projections with existing projections of demand for unpaid care by older people with disabilities from their children. The results show that the supply of unpaid care to older people with disabilities by their adult children in England is unlikely to keep pace with demand in future. By 2032, there is projected to be a shortfall of 160,000 care-givers in England. Demand for unpaid care will begin to exceed supply by 2017 and the unpaid ‘care gap’ will grow rapidly from then onwards. The article concludes by examining how far this unpaid ‘care gap’ is likely to be met by other sources of unpaid care or by developments in new technology and examines the implications of the findings for long-term care policy.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Linda Pickard, London School of Economics & Political Science – LSE Health and Social Care, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK. E-mail: l.m.pickard@lse.ac.uk
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F. Carmichael , S. Charles and C. Hulme 2010. Who will care? Employment participation and willingness to supply informal care. Journal of Health Economics, 29, 1, 182–90.

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D. King and L. Pickard 2013. When is a carer's employment at risk? Longitudinal analysis of unpaid care and employment in midlife in England. Health and Social Care in the Community, 21, 3, 303–14.

J. Malley , R. Hancock , M. Murphy , J. Adams , R. Wittenberg , A. Comas-Herrera , C. Curry , D. King , S. James , M. Morciano and L. Pickard 2011. The effect of lengthening life expectancy on future pension and long-term care expenditure in England, 2007 to 2032. Health Statistics Quarterly, 52, 3361.

M. Murphy , P. Martikainen and S. Pennec 2006. Demographic change and the supply of potential family supporters in Britain, Finland and France in the period 1911–2050. European Journal of Population, 22, 3, 219–40.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)2009. 2006-based marital status and cohabitation projections for England and Wales. Population Trends, 136, 112–20.

L. Pickard , R. Wittenberg , A. Comas-Herrera , B. Davies and R. Darton 2000. Relying on informal care in the new century? Informal care for elderly people in England to 2031. Ageing & Society, 20, 6, 745–72.

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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
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