Carers UK have published a report, Caring Behind Closed Doors: 6 months on, which looks at the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers, and is based on the experiences of over 5,900 current and former carers.
The report reveals the majority of carers are desperately worried about how they will continue to care safely through the coming winter, with many continuing to provide extraordinary hours of care for loved ones with increasing needs, without the usual help from family and friends, and with limited or no support from local services.
The key findings from the report show:
- Four in five unpaid carers (81%) are currently providing more care than before lockdown.
- More than three quarters (78%) of carers reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased recently.
- Most carers (64%) have not been able to take any breaks at all in the last six months
- More than half (58%) of carers have seen their physical health impacted by caring through the pandemic, while 64% said their mental health has worsened.
Carers are in urgent need of more support and without the right intervention the stress and challenges they are currently facing could lead to carer-breakdown, with negative impacts for both carers’ and those needing care.
Carers UK are now calling for Government to provide immediate support for carers through winter in line with carers’ priorities. They also want Government to introduce a ‘New Deal for Carers’, with tangible medium-term action to support carers and those they care for. Longer term, carers also need to be placed at the heart of a reformed and sustainable social care system that provides more support to both those giving and receiving care.