While the latest measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus affect us all, they have an added impact on people looking after a family member or friend.
We want people to act now to help minimise the impact the latest measures have on carers and the people they look after.
Earlier this year we found the coronavirus crisis had affected carers in the following ways:
- 78% not able to take a break from caring
- 77% feeling more lonely/isolated
- 82% feeling more stressed
- 76% saying their caring role has increased
And just last month Carers UK published national research which showed that during the pandemic:
- 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.
A range of support is available to carers. But many people who look after a family member or friend – with a disability, health condition or due to substance misuse – do not even realise they are a carer. As well as adults of all ages, children as young as five can be involved in helping to care for a family member.
Caring Together chief executive Miriam Martin said, “Looking after someone can be very hard. Trying to do so with the restrictions caused by coronavirus in place is even harder. It can take carers to crisis point.
“But we know that the right support makes a huge difference.
“We can give carers a break from their caring role, provide help for them to go to their own medical appointments, keep them connected to reduce isolation, provide training to help them in their caring role, help them plan for an emergency, give one-to-one advice and offer a range of other services.
“We also offer carers cards so people can be identified as a carer if they are out doing tasks for, or with, the person they look after.
“But the first step is vital, they have to realise they are a carer and that help is available to them.
“So, if you are looking after a family member or friend then please do contact us. Or if you recognise someone you know is a carer please do encourage them to get in touch.”
We can be contacted on 0345 241 0954 or at [email protected]
You can also contact Caring Together if you wish to make a donation to help more carers have the support they need or go to caringtogether.org/donate to make a donation.
For more information on figures quoted
- Caring Together survey – June 2020 – see caringtogether.org/news/coronavirus-impact
- Carers UK – Caring behind closed doors – Oct 2020 – see caringtogether.org/news/caring-behind-closed-doors-six-months-on