Family carers feeling the pressure


Merryn’s opinion piece on the challenges family carers face when providing care for relatives and friends at the end of life was published yesterday by Read the entire article.


    • Being able to die at home surrounded by loved ones requires the help of ‘an unpaid and largely invisible workforce – ie family members.
    • Most caregivers are women and men are more likely to have a willing family carer when required.
    • Increasingly, families are taking on caregiving tasks traditionally carried out by paid and extensively trained health professionals.
    • The effects of being a ‘family carer’ are very significant. Research shows half of all family members in this role experience anxiety or depression.
    • It is important to acknowledge that caregiving can have positive effects. It can promote social connectedness and feelings of self-worth and satisfaction which contribute to wellbeing and even increased longevity.
    • At a policy level, there needs to be a fundamental shift in how family caregiving is conceptualised. Caregivers need to be seen explicitly as part of the palliative care workforce, requiring appropriate education, training and support.


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