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Carers miss out on support

27th January 2012

The charity Macmillan Cancer Support has warned that people looking after someone with cancer are missing out on vital support and benefits.

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An Ipsos MORI survey of 386 carers conducted for the charity found that 49% have no support and only 5% received a carers’ assessment by their local authority to see what assistance they could get.

The charity said the findings highlighted just how unsupported the 1.1m carers of people with cancer are.

The study revealed that almost half of carers had experienced mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression, 13% reported physical health issues such as sleep or digestive problems and 15% had experienced financial difficulties over travel costs or having to give up work.

Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Ciarán Devane, said: “Our research shows how unsupported cancer carers really are in the UK. Carers want to look after their family or friend with cancer - but it is often at the expense of their own mental or physical health.

“Cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence and this means there is a growing need for people to care for their family member or friend with cancer. Often this is long-term care. But carers need support to cope with the significant demands of their role.”

She said the statutory sector must increase awareness and uptake of Carers' Assessments.

David Rogers, chair of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said an issue is that carers often do not recgonise themselves as such and fail to seek the support to they are entitled to.

 

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