We've been tracking the priorities of carers for a whole year now. Here we share our results from March. What a challenging year it has been for us, in so many different ways.
Carers' own stress and anxiety have dropped only slightly, even though our concern about the virus is less significant. As lockdowns are eased, roadmaps shared and each part of the UK starts to look ahead our challenges as carers continue. The comments shared alongside the poll answers we gave say "it's not over yet...and new difficulties now lie ahead!"
Carer stress and anxiety
In their comments carers shared some deeply personal and difficult struggles, not all could be shared here but lack of support, isolation and difficult relationships with the people we care for were common. Just having support servcies open will not necessarily mean that we will be able to access that support. Many of those we care for are not keen on having others supporting with their care, mobility may have declined and confidence will need building up too.
With loneliness and lack of services...things just continue to be hard.
I'm not sleeping very well and feel low. I have reached out and should be getting help in a couple of weeks.
I am stressed about society opening up again and the expectations and difficulties this will present.
Physically and mentally running on empty.
Our caring roles will continue beyond the end of lockdowns
Some of us are finding looking ahead difficult. Our priorities of protecting our loved ones from Covid-19 and coping with the stress and anxiety of caring through a pandemic have kept us focused on the here and now. As the threat from the virus lifts our thoughts turn to other challenges that wont be solved by the end of the pandemic.
Looking at the comments behind the "other" category in the poll we can see a wide range of issues. Dealing with our local authoritity for education, social care and housing can be a battle. Putting together a survivial plan for long term caring, getting out to a multitude of hospital appointments and sorting out finances are all coming back into focus now.
Let's not do this on our own
It would be really easy to get left behind as the world moves on, with the sense of being alone and that there is no help out there. Finding the right type of support for us and those we care for might take time, planning, networking, trial and error. Learning from others and leaning a little on each other as we go through what will be another period of change will be important. Here's a few starting points....
Find out about support available for us locally by connecting with the local carers' centre:
Our daily Virtual Cuppas for Carers continue to welcome new carers. We can dip our toe in gently too - look out for our welcome cuppas.
Have a question? The best people to answer it is probably other carers. In our Facebook Community we can ask questions and read what others have to say.