Hundreds of thousands of carers in UK are at risk of anxiety and stress

There is a ‘silent army’ of hundreds of thousands of people in the UK that is suffering from stress and anxiety, due to circumstances beyond their control that put them in a difficult position.

700,000 people across the UK are thought to be carers for someone suffering with dementia. 9 in 10 of those 700,000 suffer extreme feelings of both stress and anxiety several times a week, a new report by the Alzheimer’s society has found.

Dementia is a progressive and unpredictable disease, which, because carers of people with dementia are often unpaid relatives or friends, comes with the collateral effect on the carers of seeing loved ones degenerate and become unlike the person that they were.

The Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown, said: “In this country, unpaid dementia carers prop up our health and social care system.

“This silent army of husbands, wives, sons and daughters spend 1.3 billion hours a year providing care. This can take an enormous toll on their emotional health and wellbeing.

“Carers tell us that even when they have taken that difficult first step and gone to see their GP, accessing any sort of face-to-face therapy presents a whole new challenge – from finding the time to attend and getting care cover to the extremely long waiting times facing many for these treatments.”

It has also been reported that when these carers take the difficult step in going to their GP to talk about their own mental health, it can become very difficult to access any therapy for the next step in getting themselves treated. Timing appointments around their duty as a carer, and long waiting times, can get in the way of improving their mental wellbeing.

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