People who have to care for others suffer from more depression and anxiety
Researchers from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona) have revealed the first comparative study in Spain which indicates that carers of ill people suffer 3,3% more anxiety than people with the same characteristics who do not do so. Also, among the carers who are employed, 53% display more work-related stress - one point more over five - than those who do not have ill family members in their care.
The study also reveals that carrying out care-related activities affects the organisation of domestic chores: more than half of informal carers or family members undertake domestic chores without help from anyone. This is compared to 33% of people who do not have ill people to care for, the majority of whom share domestic tasks.
According to Dr Luis González de Paz, the lead researcher “the healthcare system is focused on patients and not on carers, and within our context of ageing and chronicity, administrations should provide psychological and emotional support to people who have to care for others. We have to care for carers, increase the feeling of social backup and ensure they feel supported by society”. Along these lines, Dr González de Paz, thinks that “we can explore experiences in Nordic countries, who have put into practice programmes to help these people”. In any case, González underlined the fact that “it is important that any action to help these people is backed up by scientific evidence: that actions respond to the needs of carers and that the real impact they have is measured. In this field, the field of evaluation, there is still plenty to do”.