Half of the 1.1 million people looking after someone with cancer in the UK wouldn’t describe themselves as carers.
They might say “I’m just being a husband, partner, daughter or friend…” - and therefore aren’t accessing the support available to them.
As one of the people that they may turn to, you’re vital in helping us identify and support people that look after someone with cancer.
Benny Millier meets a lot of carers in need of support in her role as the Information and Support Service Manager at Croydon Healthcare NHS Trust. ]
She says, “Many do not associate themselves as carers, even though their roles have changed. They see it as the normal activity they do as wives, husbands, siblings, sons, daughters, friends or neighbours.”
Yet the care these people provide is vital: from helping the person with cancer with shopping, washing or dressing, to taking them to the hospital and being there for them when they need to talk.
And despite the physical, emotional and financial impact this has on their lives, 49% of carers of people with cancer are not accessing the support that’s available to them.
Benny says, “As a healthcare professional I think it is imperative to consider the wellbeing not just of the patient but the people supporting them too.”
In your role, you are likely to also come across and support carers on a regular basis. So please let them know that the Macmillan team is here for them too. From in-depth expert information to financial guidance and support with work issues, we provide a range of services to help them.
Whether they want to ask questions, need support or just want someone to talk to, they can call us free on 0808 808 00 00 or find information online at macmillan.org.uk/carers.