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Reduced services see unpaid carers in Wales pushed to the limit - and desperately worried about winter

19 October 2020
  • Four in five unpaid carers in Wales providing more care for relatives
  • 76% reported that the needs of the person they care for have increased during the pandemic
  • 76% reported they are exhausted and worn out as a result of the pandemic
  • 68% worried about further lockdowns

Carers Wales calls on Government to reinstate crucial support services as soon as possible and recognise that carers are at breaking point.

Family carers in Wales are going without crucial services, whilst providing many hours of additional care for loved ones with increasing needs, new research by Carers Wales reveals.

This is at a critical point in the Covid-19 pandemic when more restrictions are being put in place, and many expect life to become more difficult over the winter months.

Previous research by the charity in April showed the majority of unpaid carers immediately took on more care for their older, disabled or seriously ill relatives through the lockdown.

Six months later, 80% of unpaid carers in Wales report that they are still providing more care than before the lockdown.

Almost three quarters (68%) are worried about how they will cope if further lockdowns or local restrictions were introduced.

In a survey of 580 unpaid carers in Wales, over a third (38%) said they are providing more care because the needs of the person they look after have increased. Many cited the detrimental impact of the national lockdown on their relatives’ physical and mental health.

A similar proportion of family carers (37%) are providing more care because their local services have been significantly reduced or closed. Covid-19 infection and control restrictions mean most day services are operating at a reduced capacity and some have not opened at all.

Three quarters of carers (76%) said they are exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during the pandemic.  60% told Carers Wales they hadn’t been able to take any breaks whatsoever in the last six months.

Claire Morgan, Director of Carers Wales, said:

“The pandemic has placed enormous pressure on carers in Wales, who are caring round the clock for loved ones with little or no outside support. They are worn out.

Carers are desperately worried about how they will manage over the winter and in the face of further lockdowns and tightening of restrictions.

The Welsh Government must ensure that services for carers and those they care for are reinstated as soon as possible.  Local authorities must be flexible and consider alternative ways of meeting carers needs. It must also reinstate as a matter of urgency its commitment to an awareness raising publicity campaign to identify and inform carers of their rights.”

Carers Wales is also calling on the Government to recognise the additional financial hardship carers have faced during the pandemic and set up a specific fund for, to help cover the extra costs that caring will inevitably incur over winter.

The charity wants to see the vital role of unpaid carers in supporting the health and social care system clearly recognised in the rebuilding, and delivery, of health and social care going forward.

- ENDS -



Media contact

Please contact the Carers Wales office on 029 2081 1370 (Mon-Fri)

Out of hours: 07377 723895 or 0789 498 1442

About the research

Carers UK carried out an online survey between 11th and 28th September 2020. A total of 5,904 carers and former carers responded to the survey. This included 5,583 current carers and 321 former carers. Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. As not all respondents completed every question in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented here, are based upon responses from fewer than 5,904 carers.

63% live in England, 13% live in Scotland, 10% live in Wales and 14% live in Northern Ireland.

About Carers Wales

Carers Wales is part of Carers UK. We are a charity led by carers, for carers – our mission is to make life better for carers.

  • We give expert advice, information and support
  • We connect carers so no-one has to care alone
  • We campaign together for lasting change
  • We innovate to find new ways to reach and support carers

For practical advice and information about caring, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We have developed specific information to support carers during the coronavirus pandemic.  at:

The Carers UK Forum is our online community of carers and is available to carers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Carers can join the forum and Carers Wales at:



Twitter:         @CarersWales

Carers Wales is part of Carers UK.  Carers UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (246329) and In Scotland (SCO39307) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (864097).

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