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23/11/2017  
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HEALTH
International Survey

Over Half of Carers in Spain Need Medical Help for a Mental Health Condition

Embracing Carers

Three in five non-professional carers (61%) have felt that they needed medical care/support for a mental health condition (e.g. depression, anxiety, stress) due to their role as an non-professional carer, according to a large-scale, international survey conducted by the leading science and technology company, Merck.
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The announcement coincides with the launch of a new global initiative, Embracing Carers™. Led by Merck and guided by Eurocarers and other leading international carer organizations, Embracing Carers™ aims to raise the awareness of the crucial role of non-professional carers in the lives of patients.

Embracing Carers™ International Survey
Commissioned by Merck, the Embracing Carers International Survey1 questioned 3,516 non-professional carers across seven countries (Spain, France, Germany, Italy, UK, US, Australia).

According to the survey results, in Spain families recognize the valuable contribution of carers with 91% of non-professional carers feeling supported by their relatives and nearly half (49%) saying that they feel very supported.  However, when asked whether carers felt supported by government, the findings showed that 70% of non-professionals carers in Spain didn’t feel supported, compared to an average of 53% seen across other nations.
 
Regarding the family situation of caregivers, over half of non-professional carers in Spain (55%) are caring for their parents or parents-in-law, with nearly a third (31%) saying that they don’t spend as much time with their children/step-children as they would like.  In addition, a quarter (25%) say that they are unable to take their children/step-children on days out or holidays because of their caring duties.
Additional survey findings from Spain include:
  • More than two fifths (43%) of non-professional carers put the health of the person they’re caring for above themselves.
  • 7 in 10 (71%) of non-professional carers admit they feel tired most of the time.
  • 61% of non-professional carers feel that their physical health has suffered.
Embracing Carers™
Embracing Carers is supported and advised by leading international carer organizations including the Caregiver Action Network, Carers Australia, Carers UK, Carers Worldwide, Eurocarers, National Alliance for Caregiving, International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and Shanghai Roots & Shoots, China.

Isabel Sánchez Magro, Medical Director, Merck Spain, said: “Merck is committed to responding to the unique and unmet needs of those people who spend much of their time caring for a relative or a patient.  Not enough services and programs exist today to help carers improve their own health, well-being and life quality and it’s our aim to champion carer support and become a long-standing partner for the carer community.”
In addition to the survey, the findings and conclusions of the Embracing Carers™ White Paper entitled Carers Report: Embracing the Critical Role of Carers Around the World, has been announced. Co-created with the Embracing Carers™ strategic advisors, the Carers Report concluded that caring for a loved one is an activity that cuts across most demographic groups regarding age, race, educational attainment and household income. However, while progress has been made in specific areas and geographies, overall, there is insufficient support for carers.

Cheles Cantabrana, president of the Spanish Alzheimer Federation (CEAFA) said: “Data from the Embracing Carers International Survey shows the range of challenges facing carers which need to be addressed, not only in Spain but around the world. Carers feel they are not able to spend as much time with their children as they would like, due to their role as a carer, and they are even struggling to look after their own health. There is a long way to go but the combination of industry and advocacy will result in greater expertise, resources and support for carers within the healthcare system, wherever they live.”
 
Embracing Carers Action
Embracing Carers is at the launch of a multi-year initiative to help provide better support and recognition of carers around the world and as its first steps has undertaken to:
  1. Support the carer infrastructure by making possible the International Alliance of Carer Organizations’ (IACO) Carer Toolkit, providing countries without a carer infrastructure the information to develop a national carer organization.
  2. Convene carer organizations from across the world to serve as strategic advisors in increasing support and recognition of carers.
  3. Develop calls to action to broaden stakeholder engagement, increase global awareness of challenges, drive legislative action and engage with healthcare systems.
For more information on Embracing Carers™, the International Survey or Carers Report, visit our website at www.embracingcarers.com
 

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