Manchester mums reveal impact of ‘carers penalty’ and star in national campaign

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A Manchester mother-daughter duo have shared their experiences of the “daughterhood penalty”, after findings revealed that two thirds of people believe the responsibility of caring for elderly relatives when they become frail is the ‘daughter’s job’.

A Manchester mother-daughter duo have shared their experiences of the “daughterhood penalty”, after findings revealed that two thirds of people believe the responsibility of caring for elderly relatives when they become frail is the ‘daughter’s job’.

Experts have dubbed the impact of giving up work to care for your elderly parents the ‘daughterhood penalty’, as many adults will miss out on things like pension payments and employment benefits that will have a significant long term impact on their future finances.

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Whilst 1 in 3 Brits plan to give up work to care for their elderly parents , this penalty is more likely to affect women – voluntary carers in the UK are typically women aged 55-59 years old.

Emma (left) and Tracey (right) from Manchester starred in TakingCare's Have The Talk campaignEmma (left) and Tracey (right) from Manchester starred in TakingCare's Have The Talk campaign
Emma (left) and Tracey (right) from Manchester starred in TakingCare's Have The Talk campaign

Tracey Lewis (61) from Urmston, who is currently caring for her elderly father, starred alongside her daughter Emma Stretton (39) from Sale in the Have The Talk video campaign to have an open conversation about the pressures that are put on women to care for their children and parents.

Commenting on the stress of having to care for her parent alongside her wider family, Tracey said:

“I’ve got my dad who to a degree I’ve got to meet his needs and I’ve got to make sure he’s okay, and his wellbeing’s okay. I’ve got two young grandchildren who are really important to me and I want to spend time with as well, and again their mental wellbeing is important as well, so I’ve got to make sure they’re okay. I’ve got my daughter who is very busy and is always doing stuff, so I want to make sure she’s okay. It’s alot, it’s a lot of pressure at times. And I find my dad the most pressure out of it all.”

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“[Speaking to Emma] You know what grandad’s like. My dad is a little bit like me, in terms of saying ‘I’m not ready for that [support]. He wont really admit to things – he finds that really difficult, and I get that as well. But he won’t accept the help, so I’m struggling with that at the moment.”

Commenting on the future pressures around taking on care for her mum, Emma said:

“I don’t really want to acknowlegdge that I am going to possibly have to take on that burden of [taking care of Tracey] and I’m an only child, so that does scare me a little bit. And I think I dont like thinking about the fact that I might have to factor that into my life one day. It’s massive thing to think about caring for somebody else, and what to do about their care, and what to do if you [Tracey] weren’t able to make that decision yourself and I had to make that decision for you, and the financial implications… it’s a huge thing to talk about.”

For more information about caring for elderly parents, visit the TakingCare Alarms for Seniors website.

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