Carers Trust, the national carers’ charity of which Carers Leeds is a network partner, is conducting research into the experience of older carers. As people live longer and develop more long term conditions such as dementia, carers themselves become older and the stress of caring impacts on their health.
The Carers Trust research revealed the following information. Of the 422 older carers interviewed
- 86% had health problems of their own
- 67% said their health condition was as a direct result of their caring role
- 57% had cancelled or postponed their own doctors or hospital appointments
- 81% said they felt lonely and isolated and 83% of these said their loneliness and isolation was having a negative impact on their health.
As an organisation in constant contact with carers, this doesn’t surprise me. But it is of significant concern that older carers are struggling both with their own health and their caring responsibilities and should be a major policy issue of those in government making decisions on health and social care.