How have carers been impacted by the pandemic.
Over the last two weeks we’ve been listening to the community through our daily poll service, Mobilise Moments. Designed to keep a finger on the pulse of carers, Mobilise Moments has gathered information on lots of aspects of our current caring situations.
The impact on carers of this pandemic can’t be overstated, we know from our cuppas and Facebook Group that our community is under significant pressure. There is also a significant responsibility with over 90% of us saying that we live with the person we care for (MM #2 29th Jan). Personally, carers in our community have also seen impacts on their health too, 49% say that they have experienced delays in medical appointments (MM #7 4th Feb).
If one elderly, vulnerable parent gets Covid-19 symptoms and the other (at that point) doesn't. How far do we go in isolating them from each other when they may not have much time left? How do we even do it in a tiny bungalow? How as family carers (my sisters and I take turns to live there 24-7) will we manage with the extra workload when we were struggling even pre-pandemic?
Many of the impacts identified are also compounded by the relative isolation experienced by carers. 64.2% of us were accessing support from our local carers centres (MM #5, 1st Feb), which is significantly more difficult now face-to-face support is no longer an option. Over 65% of us said we did not share our caring role with anybody else (MM #9, 6th Feb) and 50% of us say we are not supported (MM profile information).
I was a crying wreck at the start [of the pandemic], frightened the virus was going to leak into the house and get my husband. I truly locked down and went nowhere. Then we were allowed out and I was so scared.
Carers and the virus
Our data shows that we’ve stayed safe. Nearly 90% of us have never received a positive coronavirus test (MM #11 8th Feb), and that if offered 74% of us would take the vaccine as soon as it is possible (MM #4 31st Jan).
Evolve and adapt
We’ve also been improving our digital skills, with 50% saying that they have improved since the pandemic started (MM #12 9th Feb) and 51% now shop online for our groceries, compared to a nationwide average of 29% in 2019.
In short, no change immediately. The vast majority of us, over 65%, consider that the end of the Pandemic is between six and 17 months away. (MM #13 10th Feb, see below)
So with some way to go it’s important that we ensure that we do all we can to improve our own wellbeing, ourselves. At the same time we also need to look forward and plan for the easing of restrictions. This is important so that those we care for are gently introduced to the idea of returning to support services, or that we might involve others in supporting our caring role. For example planning for respite breaks or getting help from family.
How have you found the pandemic? Let us know your experience in our Facebook Group.
Data visualisation - all the graphs!
MM #2 | Do you live with the person you care for?
MM #7 | Since the pandemic started, have you experienced delays in medical appointments for yourself?