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Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04

Anxiety Channel
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Latest Research : Psychiatry : Anxiety

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Carers have high levels of stress and anxiety themselves
Jan 14, 2004, 15:50, Reviewed by: Dr.

Carers who are caring for people with mental health difficulties and dementia are more likely to say their own health is not very good or not at all good and have higher incidence of health and emotional problems, a survey released today by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in UK has found.

The results of the survey of more than 1,000 carers, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and undertaken by Q2 Research, were released today as part of the launch of Partners in Care, a joint campaign between The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

“The results of this survey show that people caring for someone with a mental illness suffer from high levels of anxiety and stress and yet their main concern is would happen if they died or became too ill to look after the person they cared for,” Alison Ryan Chief Executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers said.

“The Partners in Care campaign is important because it aims to raise awareness about the issues carers face and encourage partnerships between carers, patients and professionals so that hopefully it will alleviate some of the burden for carers.”

Key findings of the survey are that people who care for someone with a learning disability or a mental health problem, including dementia:
· care for longer (an average of 15.2 for those who care for someone with a learning disability and 10.5 years for those caring for someone with mental illness)
· care for more hours per week (83% of carers looking after someone with a learning disability care for more than 50 hours a week)
· feel they do not know enough about the illness of person they are caring for
· feel they do not know how to react in certain situations or how to deal with a mentally ill person
· worry about the person they care for harming themselves or committing suicide.

Getting up in the night was one of the main tasks that caused ill health for people caring for someone with dementia (40%) or a mental illness (39%). Also affecting carers’ health was coping with inconsistent or challenging behaviour (47% of those caring for someone with a mental illness; 36% of those caring for someone with dementia; 33% of those caring for someone with a learning disability) and dealing with verbal and mental abuse (41% of people caring for someone with mental illness).


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