Jackie Ashley wrote about the tough realities she had to deal with in caring for her husband Andrew Marr. Photograph: Nick Cunard / Rex Features
Whether through serious illness, disability or growing older, rising numbers of people need help with daily living. Most often it is family and friends who give the everyday care and support they need and, as Jackie so rightly observes, we need society to grasp the impact not simply on individual lives, but on business, workforce, personal, health and social services and all aspects of our lives.
In the UK today there are 6.5 million carers. They may be caring for an older parent, a seriously ill partner, a disabled child. Many care full-time and around-the-clock. Rising numbers are trying and often struggling to juggle work, family and care. Very often caring is hidden, taboo even, with full-time carers isolated by responsibilities, working carers feeling unable to seek support from employers as they might over childcare.