Isolation takes toll on carers

NEARLY three-quarters of people in the East of England looking after an ill, frail or disabled loved one do not have a life outside of caring, according to research.

Statistics released to launch National Carers Week show 74% of carers in the Eastern region feel isolated and lonely, missing out on opportunities that the rest of the population take for granted.

Figures show 81% have been forced to give up leisure activities or from going out socially since becoming a carer.

The majority of those surveyed can no longer rely on relatives for support either, as these relationships suffer as a result of caring – with 72% saying they have lost touch with family and friends.

And 85% of carers say they are worse off financially, while 63% say they have had to give up work.

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Paul Matz, Carers Week manager, said: “Carers need and deserve change. We need to see better access to advice and information, improved funding for breaks, and support and flexibility for carers at the workplace.

“Only then will carers get a real chance at a life of their own.”

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A spokesperson for Carers Week added: “Unable to socialise, to have romantic relationships, or even to consider having children, the impact on carers is emotional, mental, physical, and fiscal.”

Carers week is being backed by major charities.

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