LETTER:How to plan for our old-age boom

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From Ms Jill Pitkeathley

Sir: Your call for imaginative new schemes to bring together private and public provision for long-term care ("Why didn't you save more, Grandpa?" 30 January) was welcome. We should not forget, though, that most long- term care is not provided by the state, but by families and friends - often at great cost to themselves in terms of their own finances, health and relationships.

Most families still regard it as their duty to see that care is provided for their elderly and disabled relatives, and this love and devotion is the most precious resource available to us as we plan care for the future. Yet, if carers are ignored by planners and providers and left to cope alone, how long will they be willing to go on caring? Never mind investing in insurance schemes, investing in carers might pay bigger dividends.

Yours faithfully,

Jill Pitkeathley

Chief Executive

Listen to Carers

London, EC1