Cancer Carers Figures Shoot Upwards According to New Research

Official figures indicate that the number of people caring for someone with cancer in the UK has risen significantly, with the overall figure now estimated to be in the region of 1.5 million people.

The extent to which this number has expanded in recent years is indicative of the problems with cancer in Britain.

Macmillan Cancer Support suggests that this new number represents an increase of almost one-third in the last five years alone.

The charity also notes that family and friends are spending an average of over 70 hours every week looking after and caring for loved ones affected by the debilitating condition.

And one in five of those surveyed care for someone with cancer for more than 35 hours a week.

The figures have emanated from a YouGov survey of more than 6,000 cancer carers aged 16 and over in the UK.

Recent figures also indicate that the number of cancer carers in 2016 is 1,416,000, compared with just 1,080,000 in 2011.

With evidence strongly suggesting that this is a massive problem for England, the MacMillan Cancer charity urges the government to recognise the specific needs of such people in the forthcoming carers’ strategy for England.

The charity has also called on the government to set out a transparent and diligent plan regarding how carers will be able to receive adequate support in the future.

Fran Woodard, of Macmillan Cancer Support, believes that the need for support to be put in place for those burdened by cancer care.

“One of the reasons carers don’t get support is because they don’t know it’s available. In fact, many don’t consider themselves to be carers because they’re acting out of kindness and love. We simply can’t expect carers to keep bearing the brunt so we need to support health and social care professionals to let carers know that there is help available which they’re entitled to.”

With the issue posing serious logistical problems for the British government, the Department of Health has already announced that it will enter consultations on improving support for carers.

With the departments requiring views from as many sources as possible, it invites the views of the general public until 30th June.

Only last week, a major charity indicated that the number of people aged 80+ relying on carers has increased exponentially over the last seven years.

Age UK said one in seven of the “oldest old” – an estimated 417,000 people in total – now provides some sort of unpaid care to family or friends.

And over half of these accumulated more than 35 hours every week.

 

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