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In Search of the Invisible Army – The Caregivers’ Story

Havas Lynx shines spotlight on “invisible army” of carers to mark Carer’s Rights Day (Friday 24 November) with powerful three-part podcast series.

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*With a global ageing population, an estimated 613 million people will need a carer by 2050. In the UK, three in five of us will be an unpaid carer in our lifetime – which will save the UK economy an estimated £134 billion. Yet many carers feel isolated, unsupported and at “breaking point.”

Friday 24 November is Carer’s Rights Day, and to mark the date, leading healthcare communications agency, Havas Lynx, has today released ‘In Search of the Invisible Army – The Caregivers’ Story’, a powerful three-part podcast series which shines a spotlight on the lives of carers in the UK.

Supported by Carers Worldwide, In Search of the Invisible Army takes a closer look at the lives of family carers and the huge role they play in supporting healthcare systems and wider society. Havas Lynx and Paul Eccles, writer and researcher for In Search of the Invisible Army, brings you interviews with carers from around the world, alongside leading experts from the healthcare industry and major carer charities. Contributors to the series include Dr Sarah Jarvis (Patient.co.uk), Dr Mahiben Maruthappu (Cera and NHS England), Anil Patil (Carers Worldwide), Emily Holzhausen OBE (Carers UK), and Elizabeth Egan (AstraZeneca Global).

The three thirty-minute podcasts feature emotional interviews with carers and opinions form their healthcare professionals (HCPs) across the globe. The series highlights the urgent need to recognise and support carers – all too often not acknowledged – but without whom our current healthcare systems could not function.

Ep1

Episode 1 – Finding Guidance: In this episode Shazia, a carer from Manchester, talks us through the recognition and support that carers receive. Other contributors include: Dr Sarah Jarvis (Patient.co.uk), Emily Holzhausen OBE (Carers UK), and Elizabeth Egan, AstraZeneca Global.

Ep2

Episode 2 – Finding Friends: In this episode, Leanne talks about how caring has changed her relationship with her mum (who she looks after) and cut her off from the people around her. The importance of support from healthcare professionals and carer support networks is also discussed. Other contributors include: Kate Swaffer (Dementia Alliance International), Nicci Gerrard (John’s Campaign), and Anil Patil (Carers Worldwide).

Ep3

Episode 3 – Finding Me: In the final episode of the series, Martha, from central Kenya, talks about how caring took its toll on all aspects of her health and wellbeing, but has inspired her to want to help others. Other contributors include: Dr Mahiben Maruthappu (Cera & NHS England), Anthony Whittington (Fixing Dad), and Beth Britton (Author, Blogger and Consultant).

 

Key messages from the podcasts and wider campaign include the urgent need for practical support systems which help tackle a range of common problems often 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.

The In Search of the Invisible Army campaign also includes a series of You Tube videos, featuring in-depth interviews with carers, charities and healthcare professionals.  To view the full campaign, visit www.invisible-army.com

Anil Patil, Founder and Executive Director of Carers Worldwide, said:

“Our mission is to enable carers, service providers, policy makers and other stakeholders to recognise and respond to the needs of carers in the developing world, ensuring balance and equal value is given to the needs of the carer and the person receiving care. 

“It’s been really helpful for us as an organisation to work in partnership with Havas Lynx, whose unrivalled experience in promoting healthcare issues to both end users and professionals, has helped us to get the messages out there to a wider audience.”

Commenting on the podcasts, Havas Lynx CEO, David Hunt, said:

 “Throughout this podcast series, and during the course of the wider campaign, we’ve helped to uncover a crisis that is happening right under our noses – which if not urgently addressed, will get much worse. We are privileged to have spoken with carers from around the world, who have given us powerful anecdotal evidence to support the hard facts. Together, with the support of healthcare professionals and Carers Worldwide, we hope to bring the issue into the spotlight.”

Floris Tenholter who cares for his wife who suffers with multiple sclerosis (MS) from the Netherlands and one of the contributors to In Search of the Invisible Army said:

“For me being part of ‘In Search of the Invisible Army’ is further confirmation for me that being a carer is not something that is negative. You can say that I am a carer for my wife who has MS. But I’d rather say that I am a loving husband and a caring dad. Every day I am trying to use my energy to care for my family.”

IN SEARCH OF THE INVISIBLE ARMY: TOPLINE STATS AND FACTS FROM THE WHITE PAPER REPORT

  • ·       An estimated 613 million people will need a carer by 2050
  • ·       Three in five of us will be a carer in our lifetime
  • ·       In the UK, carers currently save the UK economy £134 billion
  • ·       57% of carers assist in medical tasks, with only 14% receiving training
  • ·       92% of carers believe family support has greater benefit in promoting treatment adherence than a positive HCP-patient relationship
  • ·       8 in 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated due to caring; 61% feel “physically drained.”
  • ·       A study found that carers’ depression was statistically reduced after participating in a support group
  • ·       40% encounter significant psychological distress; Over half are exercising less because of caring

* In Search of the Invisible Army was researched and written in collaboration with writer, Paul Eccles. To download a copy of the report, published by Havas Lynx in May 2017, go to: www.invisible-army.com