Health Of 28% Of People With Care Needs Declines During Pandemic

A new study of 4,005 Britons with social care needs found that more than a quarter had experienced a deterioration in their health during the pandemic, Home Care Insight reports. The research was carried out by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), which encompasses over 70 UK charities.

The article notes that even before the pandemic, the charity Age UK estimated that at least 1.6 million older and disabled people were lacking the care they needed. Since the pandemic hit, 31% of respondents who have difficulties carrying out day to day activities said they never received any assistance.

Of particular concern is the discovery that one in four had asked the authorities for help but never received any. Nearly one third (32%) of those surveyed said that they had felt lonely during the pandemic, and 10% were worried about how to cope and stay safe, while 9% had missed medical appointments.

The health of those looking after older and disabled people at home has also suffered, with 17% of unpaid carers saying that their wellbeing had deteriorated. The CSA commented that the survey showed how a lack of social care undermined people’s health, put extra pressure on the NHS, and reduced the quality of life for older and disabled people and their carers.

As a result of the findings, the CSA is calling on the government to bring forward reforms and increase funding to the social care system. Caroline Abrahams, co-chair of the CSA and Charity Director at Age UK, said that the survey showed how a lack of social care “diminished the lives of many older and disabled people”. She added:

“This has piled further pressure on the NHS when this was the last thing our over-stretched health services needed. As we start to imagine a world beyond COVID-19 it is vital that the Government extends its pandemic funding for care services and follows through on its pledge to bring forward reform proposals to fix social care, once and for all.”

The full survey results can be read here:  ‘A Cry for Hope: why 2021 must be the year for social care reform’.


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