The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has today recommended that the Government provide £480 million to ensure that older people and working-age disabled adults continue to receive the care and support they need in their homes over the winter.
It has also called on the Government to deliver a further £1.2 billion to ensure that unpaid family carers get the breaks they need over the coming months, to enable them to continue providing vital, life-saving care and support.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“Without a shadow of a doubt unpaid carers are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic - providing extraordinary hours of care for family members with significantly reduced help from formal services, and at an enormous cost to their own health and finances.
“Our research Caring Behind Closed Doors: Six Months On published a fortnight ago found 81% of carers with significant caring responsibilities are still providing more care than before the lockdown. Three quarters of carers said they are exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during the pandemic and two thirds (64%) told us they hadn’t been able to take any breaks whatsoever in the last six months.
“Unpaid carers are facing intolerable pressure and many are worried they can’t go on. They are the pillars of our health and social care systems and deserve to be properly recognised. We fully support ADASS’ recommendation of £1.2 billion to ensure unpaid carers can get a break they desperately need over the coming months - this will enable them to continue providing vital, life-saving care and support. This investment will far outweigh the costs of carer breakdown and admissions to hospital at a time when the health system is under significant pressure.
“The Government must also urgently raise the income of carers entitled to Carer’s Allowance by £20 a week to match the increase made to Universal Credit, to help carers manage the increased costs of caring over the winter months and the lack of services available to help them stay in work.”