Highlights of the report’s latest analysis:

  • 28% of oncology caregivers have become caregivers since the start of the pandemic
  • 25% of oncology caregivers report having discussions and/or reviewing end-of-life decisions due to delayed diagnosis and treatment
  • 76% of oncology caregivers said they feel somewhat or very concerned that the focus on COVID-19 will lead to a decline in new innovations or new treatments for the disease from which the person they are caring for suffers .

TORONTO, April 19, 2022 /CNW/ – In the most recent analysis of The Carer Well-Being Index, as part of EMD Serono’s Embracing Carers® Initiative, 72 percent* of oncology caregivers Canada reported a negative impact on their mental and emotional health – one of many alarming trends affecting cancer caregivers in Canada because of COVID-19. New analysis of the Caregiver Wellbeing Index shows responses of Canadian caregivers with cancer compared to Canadian caregivers of other groups (e.g., muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s disease) .

For many, the pandemic has propelled family members and loved ones into the role of cancer caregivers. During the pandemic, the growing pressures of caring for a sick loved one, especially cancer, have received much less attention. 28 percent of respondents became first-time caregivers of cancer patients in the past year, compared to 12 percent of those in other non-cancer caregiver groups. Significant, but often invisible, stresses are associated with caregiving, including physical, mental and financial burdens, where 70% of respondents also said COVID-19 had made caregiving more difficult.

alberta based dr. Karen Tourpin, Oncology Medical Science Liaison at EMD Serono, presented the Global Index results virtually at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Cancer Symposium. The event provided multidisciplinary expert perspectives on the latest clinical and scientific advances in the field.

“Since the pandemic, there has been a focus on cancer patients’ vulnerability to disease and the possible life-long implications. But few are reporting its potential impact on those who support cancer patients” , said Turpin. “Through EMD Serono’s Embracing Carers initiative, we are working to identify and educate the caring community about these critical findings.”

Canadian oncology caregivers have taken on increased responsibilities while providing virtual support and managing technology. 32% of cancer caregivers had to use virtual/remote technology to stay connected, while 18% of respondents had to purchase new technology to support cancer patients compared to other caregiver groups.

“At EMD Serono, we understand the crucial role caregivers play in the lives of Canadians,” said Manuel Zafra, Managing Director, EMD Serono Canada. “They are an integral part and the backbone of our healthcare system.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the logistics of clinical practice, and this study reflects the major problem facing cancer care since the pandemic,” said Dr. Nimira Alimohamed, medical oncologist at Tom Baker Cancer Center , in Calgary. “We are seeing an increase in the number of cases, longer waiting lists, delays in diagnostic testing and limited access to treatment. As a result, oncology caregivers have taken on many challenging roles over the past year.”

About EMD Serono, Canada

EMD Serono, Canadais the Canadian biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. EMD Serono, Canada, has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and devices, and industry-leading patient access and support programs. EMD Serono, Canada, has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a strong portfolio of potential therapies in neurology, oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Today, EMD Serono, Canada has more than 100 employees across Canadawhose head office is at Mississauga, ON.

About the reception of caregivers®

Embrace the caregivers® is a global initiative led by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germanyoperating as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials in United States and Canada. It is a collaboration with leading caregiver organizations around the world designed to increase awareness, discussion and action on the often overlooked needs of caregivers. Because carers need support and often don’t know where to turn for help, Embracing Carers® was created to fill this void.

Caregiver well-being index

As part of EMD Serono’s global Embracing Carers initiative® initiative, the Caregiver Wellbeing Index surveyed 9,044 caregivers in 12 countries, including 755 unpaid caregivers in Canada. To learn more about the Embracing Carers™ initiative and to obtain a full copy of the study, visit: https://www.emdserono.ca/ca-en/company/embracing-carers.html

SOURCEEM® Serono, Canada

For further information: Deane Code, Vice President, Weber Shandwick Canada, 416.450.3091, [email protected]; Smita Devane-Bhan, Head of Communications Canada, EMD Serono Canada, 905.919.0245, [email protected]