Centre for Ageing Better New Photo Library

Older unpaid carers are being given the spotlight in our new photo collection. As part of the free-to-use age-positive image library, the centre for ageing better have released a series of images illuminating the hidden and often underappreciated work of older unpaid carers as well as their lives outside of caring.

The project provides snapshots of older unpaid carers from Touchstone’s Sikh Elders Service and Bramley Elderly Action, both in in Leeds, and the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets.

As outlined in Ageing Better’s State of Ageing report, people aged 55-64 are most likely to be carers – more than 1 in 4 people in this age group (28%) provide some level of care to family, friends and loved ones. And estimates suggest there are over 2 million carers aged 65 and over, many providing round-the-clock care.

In offering more authentic portrayals of older carers through the image library, Ageing Better aims to help them feel more visible in society and better understood. Our aim is that the images better reflect the realities of older carers’ lifestyles and give the public an insight into what being an unpaid carer involves.

Nominated for two prestigious charity awards for its fresh approach to depicting older people, photographs in the image library have been viewed over 15 million times and accumulated over 85,000 downloads. 

The photos are free for everyone to use and are available on Ageing Better’s website. The images will be useful for journalists and news organisations looking for fresh imagery to better illustrate their stories, as well as for a range of organisations looking to depict unpaid carers more realistically.

Emma Twyning, Director of Communications at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: 

“The vast majority of care is provided by family and friends and yet this is rarely shown in the images of care we commonly see in public life. Through these new photographs we hope to increase understanding of the vital support unpaid carers provide, which is so often underappreciated across society.

“It is also important to be able to offer a more rounded depiction of older carers, and the lives they lead outside of their caring roles if they are able to access the right support. We hope that the images will help carers to feel more visible, appreciated, and understood.”

Antony Rathbone, Head of Communications & Marketing at Carers UK, said:

“We’re really excited to see these new photographs from the Centre for Ageing Better featuring older, unpaid carers who can so often be invisible or unrepresented, yet are so important to both those they care for and the wider community.

“With recent polling suggesting that there may be 2 million unpaid carers in the UK who are 65 or older, it’s vital that we share their stories, and make sure they are visible, valued and supported – and these photos can help us in showing them living their lives and help increase understanding of what being an older carer in the UK is like today.”

Tony Collins-Moore, Carers Wellbeing Academy Manager at Carers Centre Tower Hamlets, said:

“When I was asked if the Carers Centre Tower Hamlets would like to be part of Ageing Better’s project on older carers, I jumped at the chance.

“I have been working at the centre for twelve years and I am fully aware of the stereotypical images usually associated with carers and caring. I wanted to show how carers lived their best lives, had lives outside of caring and are incredible, vibrant people who are the backbone of our society.

“I’m so glad to have been a part of this amazing project, especially now, as a 57-year-old carer myself, I know carers need positive imagery that reflects the excellent support they give to others.”

Claire Turner, Chief Executive at Carers Leeds, said:

“It’s fantastic to have this set of images of older carers. Carers so often tell us they feel invisible, and this is one way we can help show what unpaid carers do, day in and day out.

“3 in 5 of us will become a carer at some point in our lives, so it’s important that we share realistic depictions of what caring for a family member, friend or neighbour really looks like.

“I am so pleased that the images also show life beyond caring. Being a carer is only one part of someone’s identity and we need to make sure that taking on a caring role doesn’t impact negatively on a carer’s own health and wellbeing.”