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NIHR Highlight Supporting carers of people with dementia

Published on 11 May 2016

Dementia is becoming more common as we live longer. Caring for people with dementia is demanding, with increased dependency as the disease progresses and behaviour which is often challenging. Around two thirds of people with dementia live at home and there may be as many as 670,000 people in the UK who are the main carers for people with dementia. The new Care Act, which came into force in England from April 2015, now requires local authorities to assess the needs of carers for support and services. This might include emotional support, help with day-to-day care and planned respite care. There are also incentives for general practitioners to identify carers and review their wellbeing and needs. This is important, as we know around a third of carers suffer from depression and anxiety. Many carers are older and may have other health problems as well. It is estimated that unpaid carers could save the UK up to £11 billion each year. We need to know more about the needs of carers and which kinds of support are likely to be most helpful. This highlight summarises some recent NIHR funded research in this area.

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