The COVID-19 pandemic had a monumental impact on unpaid carers’ lives – not only because of the increased amount of care that many provided, but because of the far-reaching effect that providing this level of care has had on unpaid carers. Many people also took on new caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
And now, after three years caring through the pandemic, the cost of living crisis is causing further stress and hardship for carers, who were already dealing with the financial difficulties that often come with caring.
Carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, provided with information, and given the support they need to care safely.
A carer is anyone who looks after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, addiction, or who needs extra help as they grow older. Caring's impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work can be significant. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough. It is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need.