New figures show the impact of the pandemic on unpaid carers

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on unpaid carers.

Elder Care

 

Unpaid carers are significantly more likely than others to have seen their work affected by the pandemic, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS says 30% of carers said their work had been affected by their caring responsibilities during the pandemic, compared to 26% of others. Moreover, 30% of carers said their access to healthcare and treatment for non-Covid issues had been impacted compared to 20% of non-carers.

Unpaid carers said they were also disproportionately more affected by life events than non-carers and their household finances were more affected as was their access to groceries, medication and essentials.

Carers were also more likely to have met someone in a support bubble – 31% of carers did this compared to 20% of non-carers.

The ONS survey was carried out between 31 March 2021 and 21 April 2021 when the “rule of 6” outside was in place in England and “stay local” restrictions were in place in other nations.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “This study underlines what carers have been telling us all along – that the impact of the pandemic has had a far greater impact on unpaid carers and particularly people providing significant amounts of care.

“It has affected their health, wellbeing, relationships, work, finances and more. It is good to see that some of the measures put in place by Government during the pandemic, like support bubbles, have been used by carers, but there are areas that still need urgently addressing. Earlier this week [Carers Week], we released new research showing 72% of carers have not had a break at all during the pandemic.

“Now that the impacts are becoming ever clearer, it’s important that there is a recovery plan in place that ensures we build back better for carers. They urgently need additional support to get breaks, help with finances and they need confidence that they will be put at the heart of social care reform that will make a material difference to their lives.

“This is a very timely release given that ‘building back better’ will be under discussion between global leaders at the G7 this weekend. It is not just unpaid carers in the UK who have been impacted, but carers across the globe.”



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