Within a week of launching our survey of unpaid carers (those caring for loved ones or family members) we are being told about issues faced, including isolation, lack of support and mental health issues for both themselves and the person they are caring for.
The initial results of our survey reveal common issues facing carers across the county, although many have said online meetings and virtual contact has been a life saver throughout lockdown, as a vital piece of human contact.
So far in our survey of unpaid carers:
- 65% said the number of hours spent caring has increased during Covid 19 pandemic
- 79% were unable to access regular breaks from their caring responsibilities
- 61% said caring during the pandemic had a negative impact on their physical health
- 82% said caring during the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health
- 48% said caring during the pandemic had a negative impact on the family’s wellbeing
- 81% could not access any respite services during the pandemic
- 66% said family and friends had been helpful or very helpful at offering support during the pandemic
We are running our survey until mid-November so there is still plenty of time to complete it and we really want to hear from as many unpaid carers as possible. More than 50 people told us their story in the first week, we want to hear from everyone else so we can raise awareness of the issues unpaid carers are facing.
What unpaid carers told us they want to see for the future:
Unpaid carers have also been telling us what they want to see improve for the future, with a real emphasis on re-opening services which offer some respite and help, rather than just a blanket closure which has put pressure on everyone.
Mental health support and help with isolation was also a big request to help unpaid carers and their families cope with any future lockdown issues that might arise over the winter months, with an emphasis on more online help, and more flexibility for visiting those who are isolated.