Cornwall

Calls for more support for former carers in Cornwall

Elderly person's hands
Image caption Carers UK said there should be a revamp of the social care and benefits system

A charity has claimed the government is not doing enough for hundreds of former carers in Cornwall.

There are about 62,000 carers in Cornwall saving the economy £1.2 billion a year, according to Carers UK.

The organisation said it regularly heard from former carers who felt "forced into isolation and financial hardship".

Steve Macintosh, from Carers UK, said that when caring ended it can be "a real shock to the system".

The charity is calling for a revamp of the social care and benefits system so there is more support for former carers.

'Feeling forgotten'

Mr Macintosh said: "If carers aren't given support when caring comes to an end, it can have a massive impact on their lives.

"Sadly many families feel forgotten by the state. We don't have a social care system which properly supports carers."

One former carer Christine Turner, from St Austell, looked after her husband Graham for 20 years.

Mrs Turner said she has been out of the job market for so long, looking for work was a "daily struggle".

She said: "I am one of many people in Cornwall in this situation, through no fault of their own. They decided to look after the people they care for.

"All of a sudden they feel as though they're thrown on the scrap heap."

In a statement the Department for Work and Pensions said "there are a number of other ways people coming off Carers Allowance are being helped into work" and highlight its Jobcentre Plus advisers and the Work programme launched in the summer.

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