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New research shows need for support for farmers - Farron

January 11, 2017 4:15 PM

New research released today into the impact of dementia on farming families shows that more needs to be done to support farming communities, according to South Lakes MP Tim Farron.

A report was published today by experts at Plymouth University following a year-long study which highlighted four areas of concern related to dementia. Firstly, the nature of farm work means there are regular risks due to machinery, animals and other hazards.

Secondly, the report concluded that those affected are often reluctant to ask for help. There was also a concern that too few farmers have made succession plans for when they are no longer able to manage their farms, including key legal steps such as setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Thirdly, many farmers are unaware of the support and help that is available to them. The report also calls for more integration between different agencies.

Finally, the fourth area of concern was about changes to rural communities which have left many farmers isolated.

The Alzheimer's Society anticipates that the number of cases of dementia will increase by 156% between now and 2051.

Tim said: "This is an important report which raises a number of serious concerns about the situation farmers face. Dementia is set to become more and more widespread, and we need to make sure farmers have the support they need, especially as they approach old age.

"The government must do more to fund both mental health provision and social care support, so that no one is left isolated and without help when battling dementia.

"The fact that many farmers are quite isolated and may find it difficult to access services because they are in very rural areas highlights how important it is both to make support available, and to let farmers know about it."