Report highlights challenges faced by unpaid carers during pandemic
A new Cardiff University report, funded by Public Health Wales, highlights the additional challenges that unpaid carers have faced during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Report lead author, Dr Dan Burrows, Lecturer in Social Work at the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) Cardiff University, yesterday said:
“Unpaid carers are the backbone of the health and social care system in Wales and across the United Kingdom.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the responsibilities of unpaid carers have increased considerably. There are more unpaid carers than ever before, and most of those who provided unpaid care before the pandemic are now spending more time on providing care for another person. The carers who took part in our research reflected on the significant impact on to their mental health, highlighting the need for remedial action will be needed for those who are reaching crisis point.”
Co-author of the report Dr Jen Lyttleton-Smith, Lecturer in Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University, added: “Despite the vital contributions they make on a day-to-day basis, unpaid carers we spoke to said they are poorly recognised in public discussions of health and social care and have felt overlooked during the pandemic, in contrast to professional health and social care workers, whose efforts they said had received greater recognition. This sense of injustice was heightened by the extraordinary level of sacrifice many unpaid carers have made on behalf of the person cared for.”
Other key findings in the report include:
- Many carers do not recognise their identity as a carer until they reach a crisis and seek help from health or social care services.
- Some carers reported that the Coronavirus pandemic, and the control measures imposed in response, had prompted them to spend more time relaxing with the person cared-for, which was beneficial for their relationships and had reminded them of the importance of times of shared enjoyment.
- For others, however, the loss of time away from the person cared-for, personal space and activities to enhance their own well-being (e.g. the closure of gyms) had led to increased feelings of tension and frustration that may have a long-term impact on the sustainability of their caring role.
The report “Voices of Carers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Messages for the future of unpaid caring in Wales.” was conducted and compiled by Cardiff University and funded by Public Health Wales.
Dr Richard Kyle, Deputy Head of Research & Evaluation at Public Health Wales, yesterday said:
“Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers is essential to help inform how to best support the health and wellbeing or those who care for others. This research provides valuable insights into the experiences of unpaid carers in Wales over the past year. The research found that many of the challenges have been long standing but further exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Finding ways to identify unpaid carers in health and social care services and educational institutions is key to starting the process of providing support. But it is also important that consideration is given to the language used on publicity materials, since not all unpaid carers identify with the term ‘carer’.
“Care planning should involve considering the needs of the carer and person cared-for to spend time together for enjoyment, rather than focusing only on how the needs of the person cared-for are met.
“Short-term therapeutic work may also be useful to support the carer and person cared-for in understanding and managing the transition into a caring relationship.”
This report will help inform support for unpaid carers, and the development of further research on unpaid carers health and wellbeing within the Research & Evaluation Division alongside external partners in Wales.
Latest News from
'Triple challenge' to impact food security for all20/10/2021 09:15:00
A new report published by Public Health Wales highlights how the combined influences of Brexit, Coronavirus and climate change will potentially impact all of us through the food that we are able to buy.
Coronavirus vaccine benefits far outweigh risks19/10/2021 14:15:00
We have launched a campaign to encourage pregnant women to get the Coronavirus vaccine.
Employers more concerned than ever about employee health and wellbeing18/10/2021 14:15:00
A new report from Public Health Wales highlights the increasing concerns that employers have for their employees’ both mental and physical health and wellbeing, following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Statement following UK Health Security Agency announcement regarding UK Lighthouse Lab18/10/2021 12:33:00
Statement given recently (15 October 2021) following UK Health Security Agency announcement regarding UK Lighthouse Lab.
Bowel Screening Wales invites people aged 58 and 59 for screening for the first time11/10/2021 16:15:00
From October 2021, the Bowel Screening Wales programme will begin inviting people aged 58 and 59 years old for the first time for bowel cancer screening.
New toolkit enables health to be built into future land planning11/10/2021 09:15:00
Public Health Wales has created a practical Health Impact Assessment (HIA) toolkit that will enable planners to easily integrate health into their development plans for the future.
Week 78: 'How Are We Doing in Wales' public engagement survey results08/10/2021 13:38:00
The results of the latest ‘How Are We Doing in Wales’ public engagement survey have been released by Public Health Wales.
Better recording and sharing of data essential to meeting healthcare needs of those experiencing homelessness08/10/2021 09:15:00
A new report published yesterday by Public Health Wales’ Research and Evaluation Division highlights the need for healthcare services to record and share information on patients’ housing status, so that their healthcare needs can be better identified, understood and supported.
Wales faces unprecedented 'triple challenge' to health and wellbeing04/10/2021 14:15:00
A new report published recently (01 October 2021) by Public Health Wales is the first of its kind to study the cumulative impacts of Brexit, coronavirus and climate change together and their combined influences on health, wellbeing and inequalities in Wales.