A rise in the number of unpaid carers across the Aylesbury Vale and Bucks has led to suggestions their importance is often ‘underestimated and unappreciated’.
New figures from the 2011 census show there are now 16,566 unpaid carers in the Vale, compared to 14,351 in 2001. County-wide there has been an increase of 3,693, more than 8%.
Carers Bucks, a charity that supports and promotes the wellbeing of unpaid family carers, says it is unsurprised by the increase as it has seen the number of carers turning to them for advice and support grow by over 9% in the last year.
Chief executive Stephen Archibald said: “According to Carers UK unpaid carers are now saving the UK a staggering £119 billion every year in potential care costs. However the welfare of carers is frequently overlooked, not least by the carers themselves.
“Helping to identify ‘hidden’ carers is a big part of our work. Many think they are simply acting as a relative, partner, parent or friend. A large number try to cope alone and are frequently isolated and depressed.”
The Office for National Statistics figures do not include young carers, as this information will not be available until next year.