Caring duties impacts negatively on carers’ health

Almost 80 per cent of carers have found that their caring duties have had a negative impact on their health, according to a survey published today to mark the start of Carers Week.

The most common complaint was stress and worry with nine out of 10 carers reporting concerns. Almost 60 per cent had depression while half suffered from back problems demonstrating the physical impact of caring.

More than 70 per cent of carers said their health problems affected their ability to care and almost 60 per cent reported that their health problems were affecting the person they cared for.

Paul Matz, Carers Week manager, said: “Carers are often so focused on the person they care for that they neglect themselves, and as a result, their own health can be significantly affected.”

Only one in four carers surveyed said they had been offered a health check by their GP and almost 90 per cent of carers thought they should have been offered an annual health check.

Carers aged over 65 were the group most likely to have received support from their GPs yet only 43 per cent of this group had been offered a health check.

Carers Week aims to highlight the physical and psychological strain put on the UK’s six million carers.

More than 5,000 carers were surveyed for the research.

Carers Week is supported by Carers UK, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Counsel and Care, Help the Aged, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Rethink, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

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