People caring for elderly relatives missing out - study

The financial strain of replacing paid employment with unpaid caring was an example of the difficulties carers faced. Photo / Thinkstock
The financial strain of replacing paid employment with unpaid caring was an example of the difficulties carers faced. Photo / Thinkstock

New research shows that people who are caring for elderly relatives are losing friendships, career opportunities and being heaped with financial and emotional pressure.

Massey University health psychology researcher Barbara Horrell has found a lack of support, an expectation to provide an increasingly technical level of care despite having no formal training, and the financial strain of replacing paid employment with unpaid caring were examples of the difficulties carers faced.

The study also found carers often put their lives on hold, feeling isolated and losing friendships because of their commitment to caring.

They also felt undervalued by medical professionals for their knowledge about the person being cared for.

Mrs Horrell believes the research is increasingly important as the ageing population will put pressure on healthcare and lead to more people being cared for at home, by loved ones.

- Newstalk ZB

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