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Malnutrition Amongst Family / Kinship Carers : Just How Many ... High Time To Find Out ? - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Malnutrition Amongst Family / Kinship Carers : Just How Many ... High Time To Find Out ?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Eating is often the only 'pleasure' that a carer can have. The rest of their life belongs to their caree.


Provided , of course , they have enough monies spare to do so ?

To heat or eat can be a difficult choice for upto 100,000 fellow carers using feed banks over the past year.

Anyone want to place a bet against that figure rising over the next year ?
Chris From The Gulag wrote:A search will reveal several reports , on this site , and external ones , dealing with malnutrition issues , but almost all focus on the caree and not the carer.

Last report by the Voice was in 2012 , anyone aware of any subsequent reports looking into this same problem , but with carers themselves ?

Given the economic climate , the phenomenal growth in foodbanks , is it not about time that this Issue was given some priority ? The number of carers using food banks probably exceeds 100,000 as I type , and will continue to increase as Austerity grips even tighter.

First raised in 2004 /2005 ? ( Thread on the old PRT forum ) , hardly any reponse beyond " You've got to be joking ? " from certain quarters but , thankfully , not by a local locum. Shortly thereafter , one Practice introduced automatic health checks for carers , including one specifically looking for signs of malnutrition.

Fast forward to 2017.

Lack of finances clearly a major factor beyond the usual deniability statements issued by the System in an attempt in cover up the effects of their own practices / policies.

What's the state of play today ?
Hello, I'm new to the Forum but this is a subject very close to my heart.I have been quietly campaigning for years for carers health to be taken seriously. The focus is usually on the cared for to the detriment of the tired, almost exhausted, unseen, unpaid and un-looked after carer. With dementia especially, some carers are as old as the person they are caring for and while they strive to maintain a 'living well' experience for that person, they neglect themselves. How to make carers more visible so that their health need is apparent and their physical needs attended to remains a task that requires fighting for from all quarters. To have a report on malnutrition in the 21st century in the UK is shocking.
Hi Janet ... malnutrition ?

One of those subjects that one tends to be dismissed as being of a minor issue , and not one has much interest therein.

Problem as highlighted earler is that as austerity tighens it's icy grip , health problems not seen for decades are re emerging.

As more of our fellow carers are experiencing the reality of cutbacks , our supporting organisations tend to be oblivious of life as it is in CarerLand.

Survey ? What use are they in assessing the daily life of a carer ?

One issue that will NOT go away , no better time than now to start taking action if nothing other by publicising the issue through all and sundry.
Brought back to the front page as an addendum to the Carers Strategy thread.

Early indications are that this issue will continue to be mothballed until such time when an academic produces a report highlighting the ever present problem of malnutrition increasing as the effects of Austerity spread.

I am not talking about " Comfort eating " ... that assumes monies are available to consume whatever foods are available under that category ... I am concerned with the increasing numbers having to resort to foodbanks ... many carers sucked in through their carees.

As a former , lone , carer , one usually ate with one's caree ... at whatever time depending on your caree's health ... which could vary from day to day.

The very last thing the Government wants is for increasing numbers of family carers becoming too ill to continue to care ... through both lack of support and / or adequate finances ???

Any reader of the FOODBANKS thread will appreciate that this issue is NOT scaremongering !!!

A whole host of conditions and diseases not seen since Victorian times are back with us.

It is a clear manifestation of what's wrong with present Governmnet policy ... summed up in one word ... AUSTERITY !!!
I think we should be concerned about BOTH. Both have devastating health consequences. I have long periods trying to sort out SSD, sat at a keyboard, sat on the phone, organising things. Yes, I live in a beautiful place, but by the time I've finished I often just can't find any motivation any more.
Two distinct problems here in CarerLand ... both as a direct result of " Caring. "

One is a result of a very limited life style , the other as a consequence of inadequate finances.

Both should be tackled ... on two fronts ... monies and support ... basic needs to continue to survive as carers in CarerLand ... as our Lord Kitch makes crystal clear.

On the " Comfort eating " front , that problem can only be tackled at manor level ... through local carers acting together working for the benefit of the group ... good old fashioned mutual assistance if you like ... one of my pet remedies for the past 20 years or so !

For the late 60s generation , a modern commune without a base beyond the notion of caring , if the concept needs further explanation.

There again , most readers would probably do nothing ... and wait for the Government to do something ???

Carers Strategy ?

Ideal time ... for US ... to bring both issues to the fore ... and seek the holy of holies ... a Carers Charter ... leading to an Act of Parliament wherein " Caring " is redefined within the context of this Sad New World with safeguards for all family carers on the monies / support / health side ... not muted for a decade since first proposed , and worked on , by those pioneering carers who formed CarerWatch.

In reality , expect both issues to fall by the wayside ... leaving many , and more to follow , in danger of their health ... for a few , even their lives.

After all , who would dare challenge the present God ... Austerity ... or combine with others so that the " Voice " of family carers is , finally , heard ???
An interesting article from the Malnutrition Task Force web site ... published during Carers Week :


http://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk ... nutrition/


Carers and nutrition.


This week is Carers Week, a vitally important time for recognising the contribution carers make to families and communities across the UK and highlighting their challenges.

According to Carers UK, 60% worry about the nutrition of the person they care for and one in six care for someone at risk of malnutrition but receive no nutritional support.

One reason why nutrition can be challenging for carers is down to the myths surrounding it. It’s often thought weight loss is simply ‘natural’ in later life and that eating too much is the problem rather than eating too little. Fat and calories tend to be seen as inherently bad and weight loss has positive connotations even amongst those malnourished. However we know this is untrue.

Responding to an older person’s weight loss is important and there are health problems that might result from not eating enough. These go beyond a general negative impact on wellbeing and can include lengthened recovery time from surgery and increased hospital admissions.

So what can a carer do about weight loss in someone they’re caring for?

Firstly, it’s important to be aware of the signs. Although rapid weight loss can be easy to notice, gradual weight loss can be harder to detect. Look at clothing: is their jewellery slipping off or are they tightening their belt buckle an extra notch? These could be signs of weight loss. Lethargy, difficulty in keeping warm and frequent infections are other symptoms.

Also be mindful that older people can be reluctant to talk about any form of weight loss, out of fear of worrying friends or family or being seen as unable to cope. If you’re worried someone close could be losing weight, you could start by discussing food and eating broadly – what do they like eating? Is there a particular snack they really enjoy or an occasion they remember eating a tasty meal?

There are many things you can do if weight loss is a problem in an older person you are caring for. You could encourage them to visit their GP to rule out serious illnesses. If they need specialist dietary advice or have difficulty swallowing, the GP can arrange for a meeting with a dietician or speech and language therapist.

Yet remember there are plenty of other things that can be done to tackle a small appetite; a GP visit needn’t always be the first course of action. For instance, you could plan visits around mealtimes so you can eat with them which, in turn, could encourage them to eat. If they can’t face a large meal, encourage them to eat small meals and snacks throughout the day. Also ensure the food looks and smells appealing as pleasant aromas can stimulate the appetite.

If you would like more information, read our Guide which provides tailored advice for carers on weight loss in older people. It covers signs of unhealthy weight loss, more suggestions on what can be done to prevent this, recipe suggestions and easy ways to add extra nutrition to small meals.

There’s no doubt that caring for someone with weight loss can cause worries. But with the tips outlined above and in the Guide, hopefully some of these can be diminished.



All very well BUT ... any study into malnutrition amongst FAMILY CARERS ???

So far , only about our carees ... and guides to help us spot potential malnutrition.

Given that 1 in 4 survive close to / at / below the accepted poverty line , that equates to 1.5 MILLION+ family carers amongst our ranks.

FOOD BANK thread ... interlinks with this one.

JUST WHAT IS BEING DONE BY OUR SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS TO HIGHLIGHT ... PERHAPS EVEN TACKLE ... THE PROBLEM OF MALNUTRITION AMONGST , MOST PROBABLY , 1 IN 4 OF US NEAR TO THAT CLIFF EDGE ???

Same old story , people look at our caree ... as for the family carer , it's their sole function to look after said caree.

WHO LOOKS AFTER US ???

##################################################################################

Comfort eating ?

By choice.

Malnutrition ?

Lack of finances ... " To eat or heat ... or pay the rent ? "

Ties in with the FOOD BANK thread !

TWO DISTINCT PROBLEMS
Interesting to record that Malnutrition Awareness Week is currently featured on the Carers UK FaceAche page.

http://www.malnutritiontaskforce.org.uk ... ness-week/

As for the decades long problem in malnutrition amongst carers themselves ... silence.

Yet another vital issue considered to be " Too hot to handle ? "

CUK ... now mere train spotters ... noting down all issues in their log book ... then go hope for dinner ?

Trussells and others ... at STREET LEVEL ... can only do so much.

For any readers ( Probably all ) who have NEVER been inside a foodbank , a whole new world awaits them ... got a problem ? ... most will do all they can to resolve it ... there and then !

Food parcel guide from a nutritional angle :

https://www.trusselltrust.org/wp-conten ... l_2018.pdf


Might entice a few out there to stop , think and ponder further ?

£ 100 per week for food and activities for one person mentioned elsewhere on the forum earlier this week.

If low millions had the same budget , even for a family of four , almost all foodbanks would be history !!!

Even £ 50 per week !!!

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About one in five people live in absolute or relative poverty if their housing costs are included.


Working-age benefits, including child benefit and tax credits, would usually be uprated in line with inflation, which is expected to be confirmed next week at about 2.7% in the benchmark month of September.

Analysis by the Resolution Foundation shows the freeze will cost the average low-income couple with children an additional £210 a year.

The research shows that more than 10 million households will face a real-terms loss of income from the government’s centrepiece austerity measure, introduced when Osborne was chancellor.

The thinktank’s senior economic analyst, Adam Corlett, said: “While the prime minister this week repeated her claim that austerity is over, significant cuts in support for millions of low-income families are set to continue next year as a result of the ongoing freeze in working age benefits.

“The budget represents a last chance to cut short the benefit freeze. Scrapping it would send a strong signal that, from the perspective of low-income families, the government is committed to ending austerity.”


A mere 13 MILLION or so ... below / at / close to the Official Poverty Line.

3 MILLION + estimated to be family / kinship carers !!!

To be written off as " Casaulties of the Social War " .... CUK ???????????


Nearly three million people in the UK at any one time are estimated either to live with malnutrition or to be at risk because they do not eat enough. Malnutrition is a serious condition that occurs when a person's diet does not contain the right amount of nutrients
" Dickensian " diseases on the rise under Tory-led governments: From scarlet fever to tuberculosis to malnutrition.

" The damning truth is austerity is making our society sicker, it means the poor die younger," says shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth.


https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... work-31618


Malnutrition ... first mention on the 3 April 2017 ... almost two years ago.

Still nothing on either of our supporting organisation sites ... just health checks !

What good are they if you are facing that unholy trinity ... eat / heat / roof ... on a daily basis.

The best health medicine for that is ... increasing the money dosage !!!

3 - 6 months of that prescription and ... just how many will show signs of improvement ???