There are some significant outcomes from our Annual Carers Survey we have just completed. The most concerning is the reaction to the recent lockdown and the effects of being unable to leave the home. The results show 9 in every 10 carers are concerned about how Covid19 has impacted their life with 50% of carers saying they feel they need to shield themselves due to their own health concerns.
2 in 3 Carers say increased caring responsibilities because of Coronavirus have contributed towards their increased feelings of being tired, anxious, and lonely.
“I’m suffering from depression & anxiety”, said one carer. “I’m exhausted.”
Another carer goes on to say: “We are grateful and overwhelmed by the wonderful care we have both received during this challenging time”.
The survey asked those caring about their use of technology during lockdown with 4 out of 5 carers saying they have access to technology. However, less than half felt confident in using the technology to help their situation, with a further third of carers saying they were unable to use the technology at all.
Nearly 2 in every 3 carers said they felt if they were more confident about using technology it would lead to an improved sense of wellbeing and independence.
Terry Hawkins, Chief Executive of Crossroads Care Surrey says: “Carers continue to play a vital role in society, contributing towards a savings to the UK economy of £132bn each year. Added to that, unpaid-carers have significantly added value in protecting the NHS throughout Covid-19 by looking after loved ones.”
This year’s survey shows increasing care responsibilities due to the need to shield or self-isolate through social distancing is exacerbating the physical and emotional effects of caring.
He goes on to say:
“Obviously our ability to raise funds is paramount if we are to continue to provide the support needed within our community. We have seen some success in getting befriending and outreach services off the ground due to project funding from trust and grant making organisations, who have specific funds available to support people through Covid-19”. He adds, “This survey highlights we can do better, and not just for carers, but for all people who find themselves vulnerable, at-risk and on their own at this time.”
“From early next year, we will aim to work in partnership with charity partners to support a befriending with technology project. Helping people at a local level to enable them to help themselves by using technology; learning to shop, bank and meet up socially with the community, friends and family virtually.”