Carers' health buckling under the strain
18 June 2012
A survey by Carers Week has shown that 2 in 5
unpaid carers are sacrificing their own health by putting off
medical treatment to care for a loved one.
Today is the first day of Carers Week 2012 (18-24
June). The survey was completed by 3,400 carers from
across the UK, including those who care for people with Parkinson's.
It showed that caring had a negative impact on 83% of carers'
physical health. 87% said caring for a family member or friend has
had a negative impact on their mental health.
Need better financial and practical support
We are 1 of the 8 charities involved in Carers Week as we
recognise how important carers are to people with Parkinson's but
also society at large.
Steve Ford, our Chief Executive commented on the survey
"Not only are carers sacrificing their own health, the survey
shows how few are getting support, while a quarter of carers
surveyed have seen cuts to what little support they are
"This is a further evidence of the growing care crisis. The
Government needs to provide better financial and practical support
for the unpaid carers so they can look after their health and
The hardest job I have ever had
Barbara Lee cares for her husband who has Parkinson's
and Parkinson's dementia.
"Being a carer is the hardest job I have ever had. It's
a 24/7 job with no training despite the complex needs my
husband has," explained Barbara.
Image left to right: Donna O'Brien (Social Policy and
Campaigns Officer), Barbara Lee and Rebecca Harris MP
"I have to rely on family and friends to have a medical
appointment since my husband cannot be left on his own. I also have
to cancel medical appointments time and time again if my husband is
"So the news today on effects of caring on carer health,
emotionally, physically, and socially come as no surprise to
"If only surgeries and hospitals would be more flexible in
appointment systems and understand the needs of carers."
A Parkinson's nurse in West Sussex would be of such help not just to people with Parkinson's but to carers too.
Barbara Lee, who cares for her husband
"In my area, West Sussex, we are in desperate need of Parkinson's nurse but we still don't have one."
"He or she would be of such help not just to people with
Parkinson's but to carers too, providing vital support. It was
promised by health planners 2 years ago, then a year ago, and
we are still waiting.
"We need health services to work with us carers, not against
Find out more
Carers Week 2012 takes place 18-24 June and highlights
the issues facing carers.
- If you tweet you can use the hashtag #carersweek to show your
- Add the Carers Week Twibbon
to your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures