Unpaid carers suffering a negative impact on health

There are more than 551,000 unpaid carers in the South West.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Carers Week survey showed two in five unpaid carers in the South West are sacrificing their own health by putting off medical treatment to care for an ill, frail or disabled loved one.

Carers Week (June 18 to 24) is run by a consortium of eight national charities: Age UK; Carers Trust; Carers UK; Independent Age; Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie Cancer Care; MS Society and Parkinson’s UK.

The Carers Week survey, carried out earlier this year, showed that caring had a negative impact on 88 per cent of carers’ physical health, with 38 per cent of carers in the region sustaining a physical injury through caring and 65 per cent blaming their poor health on a lack of practical support.

Heléna Herklots, chief Executive of carers UK – one of the eight national charities who run Carers Week, said: “Families are paying the price of a social care system in crisis – too often pushed to breaking point as caring without the right support takes a toll on their mental and physical health.

“Carers make an incredible contribution to our society, saving the Government £119 billion a year with the unpaid care they provide to ill or disabled loved ones – it is time they get the support they need in return.”

The Carers Week charity partners are calling for better financial and practical support for the 6.4 million unpaid carers in the United Kingdom.

There are more than 551,000 unpaid carers in the South West.

Many carers have delayed medical appointments ranging from operations to cancer screening as a result of their caring responsibilities and suffered as a result.

http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/

One Response to Unpaid carers suffering a negative impact on health

  1. Liz Rankine says:

    This is certainly my experience.

    I cared for my late father for several years, the last five 24/7/365(6). The only chance I got to look after my own health – be it GP, dentist or optician was during one 2 ½ hour break on a Friday am –and that was if they had appointments available… In spite of being a “registered Carer” at my local GP I found it near impossible to get an appointment. It was only when my father had home visits – and then if we got one of two GPs’ out of the several that worked at the surgery –after they had seen to my father they would ask me if there was anything I needed…

    After my father died it was only then there was time to try to sort out the “damage” that caring and the lack of respite etc. had done to me … depression, damaged back/neck, damaged shoulders… low immune system – that caught up with me after – that was over six months of non-stop assorted colds, viruses…culminating in a two-week stay at my local hospital with pneumonia that Xmas Time

    It has now taken me some two years to get back on a more even keel …..

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