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82-year-old carer neglected
Friday 23 October 2009
Mencap urges councils to improve support for older carers in light of an inquest into the death of an 82-year-old carer from Camberley in Surrey.
David Congdon, head of campaigns and policy at learning disability charity Mencap, said:
"This tragic case of neglect highlights an all too common problem of councils failing to have a true picture of the number of older carers in their area.
"Mencap's research shows that only half of local authorities know how many people live with parents aged 70 of over, leaving many vulnerable older carers isolated and struggling to cope. This is compounded by older carers' fears that if they ask for help their sons and daughters will be taken away.
"Councils must become more proactive and have a better understanding of the number and needs of older carers in their area, so they can provide the right support before carers reach breaking point."
Contact: Lucy Hannagan, Mencap press office, 020 7696 6017, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- Mencap works with people with a learning disability and their families and carers.
- 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability.
- A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong.
- Learning disability affects someone's intellectual and social development all their life. People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate.
- People with a learning disability don't get an equal chance in life. Mencap fights to change laws and services and to provide better access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
- It is not a mental illness and should not be confused with mental health issues. It is not dyslexia or Asperger's syndrome.
- It used to be called mental handicap but we don't use this term anymore because most people with a learning disability find it offensive.
- For information about learning disability issues please call the Learning Disability Helpline (England) on 0808 808 1111 or visit www.mencap.org.uk
- For online press information, go to www.mencap.org.uk/press