Manchester based healthcare communications agency, Havas lynx, has launched its annual white paper campaign, which this year promotes the vital need to support the growing number of carers in our society. The campaign features blogs, YouTube films, and podcasts, all of which feature interviews with the experts and carers from around the world.

Released ahead of National Carer’s Week (12-18 June), In Search of the Invisible Army takes a forensic look into the lives and challenges faced by the growing “unpaid” and “invisible” army of carers across the world.

Compiled with help from the insights of carers and healthcare professionals (HCP’s) across the globe, Havas Lynx’s new white paper highlights the urgent need to recognise and support carers – all too often not acknowledged – but without whom global healthcare systems could not function.

The white paper highlights key facts and research around caregivers, which says they often end up putting their lives on hold to care for a loved-one.  With the prevalence of long-term conditions on the rise, it is estimated that three in five of us will be care-givers during our lifetimes – making it one of the most pressing and challenging healthcare issues of our time.

As well as saving the economy in the UK an estimated £132 billion per year, the white paper highlights the value of carers to HCPs and pharmaceutical companies in promoting better healthcare outcomes, providing they are adequately supported.

Promoting understanding, practical support systems, it says, helps tackle a range of problems commonly faced by carers, including feeling isolated, overwhelmed, depressed and ultimately exhausted. Those with access to support groups, respite breaks and training not only find it easier to “keep going” in a positive way – but the health and wellbeing of the person they care for is also drastically improved.

Commenting on the white paper’s findings, Havas Lynx CEO, Dave Hunt, said:

“It’s been a fascinating and humbling process putting this report together.  Much of our work has involved gathering facts and hard evidence to support our position on carers, and that has been relatively straightforward to find.

“What has been most rewarding and insightful is the many interviews and discussions we’ve had with carers, whose immense knowledge, wisdom and time has enabled us to really get under the skin of the issues.  We are also grateful to the many experts who shared with us their valuable experience.

“We’re privileged to work with leading healthcare clients, within an industry which innovates and saves lives.  By promoting closer relationships between HCPs, carers and patients, the outcomes for all of us can and will be improved.”

Key statistics in the report:

  • An estimated 613 million people will need a carer by 20501
  • Three in five of us will be a carer in our lifetime2
  • In the UK, the value of care provided by unpaid caregivers is £132 billion, the value of public health spending in the UK is £134 billion.3
  • 57% of carers assist in medical tasks, with only 14% receiving training4
  • 92% of carers believe family support has greater benefit in promoting treatment adherence than a positive HCP-patient relationship5
  • 8 in 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated due to caring; 61% feel “physically drained.”6
  • 40% of carers encounter significant psychological distress7; Over half are exercising less as a result of caring8

To access the white paper, interviews with experts and blogs please visit www.invisible-army.com

References:

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease International (2013) http://bit.ly/2nPw6QK (Accessed April 2017)
  2. Carers UK (2015) http://bit.ly/2ou7pfp (Accessed April 2017)
  3. Buckner, Yeandle and Carers UK (2015) http://bit.ly/1LbuEKI (Accessed April 2017)
  4. National Alliance for Caregiving and Public Policy Institute (2015) http://bit.ly/1QMscmM (Accessed April 2017)
  5. Svettini et al. (2015) J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 22: 472–83
  6. Carers UK (2015) http://bit.ly/15nqBgO (Accessed April 2017)
  7. NHS (2008) http://bit.ly/2nPowFq (Accessed April 2017)
  8. Carers UK (2016): http://bit.ly/1XdIuXf (Accessed April 2017)