A job which might call us all

FEW people plan to start a new career in retirement, or even before they finish formal employment. A career too that they’ve had no formal training for, and mostly next to no experience.

But it’s something that all islanders in a relationship have ‘signed up’ to, knowing, if not consciously thinking, that becoming a full-time carer for a loved one is a possibility.

That is why thousands of islanders, many of them not hugely well-known to society, and thousands not known at all to the authorities, find themselves acting as an unpaid carer in later life. It’s tough, unrelenting work, and for 90% of carers, the support charity Carers Guernsey estimates, there’s no financial support either.

The positive in our report on the issue today is that more people are being recognised as being able to claim carer’s allowance from the States. One carer tells us it was complicated to attempt, tough to get rejected, and then, once accepted, Carers Guernsey calls the sum on offer ‘derisory’.

It’s a tough one for the States. Worthy though the cause undoubtedly is, there is unlikely to be budget available to make significant upgrades to the allowance.

So we must rely on greater recognition of the job carers do, those fulfilling a carer function must ask for help, and we must hope that Carers Guernsey can continue its good work making a difference in the sector.

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