Carers in England said they neglect their own needs and feel less supported by healthcare professionals than in previous years, a survey by the Health and Social Care Information Centre found.
The survey looked at the responses of almost 57,400 unpaid carers aged over 18, who were asked about their experiences of support and services they had received in the 2014/2015 period. Of the respondents, 15% said they felt that they neglected their own needs, up from 14% in 2012/2013. A further 28% reported that they were prone to neglecting their own needs at times.
Anne Pearson, director of programmes at the QNI, said: ‘Community nurses have an indispensable role to play in supporting carers to look after friends and family in their own homes. Working together, nurses and carers can ensure that the best care is given, and help manage the burden for carers.’
The survey also found that while the majority of respondents thought that they were supported to a degree, 17% did not feel supported, up from 16% in 2012/2013. Six per cent of those surveyed said that they were dissatisfied with the support they had received. Respondents also said that they were spending more time looking after the person they care for than last year. The results showed that 38% of carers say that they spend 100 hours or more in the role, up from 36% in 2012/2013.
Ms Pearson added: ‘This survey underlines again the importance of the QNI’s initiative, supporting carers so that they protect their own health as well as the health of those they care for.’