Research has indicated that carers are concerned about their ageing status, their deteriorating health and their ability to continue to care for their dependants. Given that the health care system will become increasingly reliant on carers the health care needs of carers should be a concern for all health care professionals. This paper describes the first stage of a project designed to enhance older carers health promotion knowledge and skills and improve their health promoting behaviours. This stage investigated the mental and physical health status of older carers. It also sought information on older carers' levels of participation in health related and social activities and identification of barriers to participation in these types of activities. The results highlighted that carers responding to the survey experienced compromised physical and mental health. Many carers reported being unable to participate in social and health-type activities as they were unable to leave the care recipient. Of note, is that carers identified their own mental fragility and felt they needed further emotional support.
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