Media ReleaseFrom: New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)
Our health system relies on unpaid family members to take care of the elderly, unwell and disabled.
A survey found that these carers have elevated rates of depression and anxiety.
More emotional support is needed for carers.
For most elderly people in New Zealand, care is provided by a family member. These carers, who are unpaid, can find the job tough. As well as economic costs they have high rates of anxiety and depression. We also found caring restricted their personal and social lives and compromised their physical and emotional health. Most people in the survey said the reason they cared for their relative was love. The health system needs to offer more support for these people to continue this extremely valuable service.