We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Caring for the Carers.

July 6, 2021 1:00 PM
By Luigi Gregori in Andover Advertiser

For too long our nation's unpaid carers have been forgotten by those in power, we should all be fighting to change that. The Liberal Democrats are urging the Government to give carers a break by providing immediate emergency funding to local authorities so they can offer every unpaid carer the support services they need to take a weekly break. During the Covid pandemic, millions of people stepped up and are stepping up heroically to look after elderly, disabled and vulnerable people. They are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances. They need more support.

A survey by Carers UK found that 81% of carers are spending more time on their caring responsibilities during the pandemic, mainly because the needs of the person they are caring for have increased or because the local care services they rely on have been reduced or closed. But now most carers are simply exhausted. Most have not had a single break since the pandemic started. Many also feel very isolated. I have seen this for myself when out campaigning during the recent local elections.

A combination of lockdowns, shielding requirements and reduced support services have made the pandemic especially tough. The survey by Carers UK found that 64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks from their caring role during the pandemic. 74% said they feel exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during Covid, and 44% said they are reaching breaking point.

With local authority budgets so badly overstretched already, we should all, not just Liberal Democrats, call on the Government to provide immediate funding to make carers breaks possible. Many of us would add that they should be part of a bigger emergency package to fill the funding gap in adult and children's social care. We should all be standing up for carers and working to build a more caring society as we emerge from this pandemic. Demand better for carers!