MPs back charities’ campaign
Reporter: RICHARD HOOTON
Date published: 16 June 2015
OLDHAM’S MPs have called for carers to be given more support.
Following Carers Week, which ended on Sunday, the Labour politicians highlighted the strains suffered by those looking after others.
Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams said: “There are 6.5 million people in the UK who care for a partner, relative or friend, of whom 11,076 are in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency.
“Without the right help and support, caring can have a devastating impact. Carers can quickly become isolated, with their physical and emotional health, work and finances all hit hard.
“I know from providing respite care for my mother how difficult caring for a loved one can be, as well as also being extremely rewarding.”
The six charities behind Carers Week 2015 — Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support and the MS Society — are calling on individuals, organisations and services to take action to improve the lives of carers by building carer-friendly communities. Full-time carers are twice as likely to be in bad health compared to non-carers, 54 per cent struggle to pay household bills and 60 per cent struggle to maintain friendships.
Mrs Abrahams added: “Carers make a valuable contribution to society and they need support to carry on the work they do.”
Oldham West and Royton MP Michael Meacher said too often carers are forgotten and more must be done to protect their health and finances.
Mr Meacher said: “Carers do an amazing and often unrecognised job. Government must work with care organisations to give carers the support they deserve and desperately need. It is unfair to expect these dedicated people to be forced into debt and financial hardship.”