Challenges faced by carers highlighted to Newcastle City Council

February 5, 2021 2:55 PM

Dr Wendy TaylorCarers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus, Cllr Wendy Tayor from the Liberal Democrats has told Newcastle City Council in support of a Liberal Democrats motion which was passed after debate and an acceoted amendment.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of carers have had to provide more care and the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of both carers and those they are caring for. A majority have had to provide extraordinary hours of care for loved ones with increasing needs during the crisis, often without the usual help from family and friends, and with limited or no support from local services.

As a result, many people providing care have been left exhausted, socially isolated and close to burnout. Adding to these considerable pressures, carers have also taken a financial hit, and seen their health and wellbeing decline.

They are worried about their own mental health, worried about what will happen if they themselves fall ill - because there's no one to take over - and worried about whether they can cope in a new lockdown.

Many have faced a dreadful choice between trying to look after highly dependent relatives at home with all the financial, physical and emotional stress that can cause or allowing relatives to be admitted for care, knowing they may never see them again. It's a heart-breaking choice and one I'm so relieved I didn't have to make when my mother needed care.

We must do far more to support our wonderful carers and they urgently need more support to help them through winter

In the short term, Carers UK are calling on the government to continue to introduce measures that support carers, including:

  • Making sure that carers can take breaks and that the return of essential services is prioritised.
  • Providing clear guidance, information, and advice specifically for carers
  • Raising the level of Carer's Allowance
  • Supporting carers' to look after their own health and wellbeing, and providing targeted funding for carers mental health support.
  • Ensuring that carers are better able to juggle work and care and remain in work.
  • Providing sufficient funding for social care over the winter.

However it's not just short term measures that are needed. In addition to increasing the carer's allowance the Government needs to put carers at the heart of a reformed and sustainable social care system that provides more support to both those giving and receiving care.

Let's show carers just how much they are valued by giving them both the financial and practical support they need and proper recognition of their vital role