Case Study: Carers of Barking & Dagenham
Supporting Carers with their Mental Health and wellbeing during the Covid Pandemic
The Carers Hub have continued during this pandemic to operate business as usual, we have remained open to carers and as a front line service to the community we have supported thousands of carers.
Over the lockdown it became apparent that the longer it went on the more effect it had on our carer’s mental health and wellbeing. Contact was made to all our registered carers in the Borough firstly to see how they were managing and what services could support them if the need was identified. For some carers we established that regular weekly calls were essential to ensure they were coping in their caring role and not reaching a crisis. Others were able to get answers to issues they were facing and access to other services. This support became an opportunity for them to discuss how they were feeling, being able to voice their worries and anxieties due to the uncertainty of the situation. They also felt reassured that there were others struggling like them and that they were not on their own. Carers were concerned about their cared for and felt that they could not leave the home in case they caught the virus.
Some carers could not make daily visits to their cared for because they had developed Covid. Other carers were concern about visiting their cared for in case they passed on Covid and did not know they had it. The Local Authority were able to provide us with PPE to distribute to carers whose cared for did not live with them. This has alleviated concerns that carers had.
Unfortunately, we have also had Carers that have lost their Cared for/loved ones. The restrictions placed on funeral arrangements and bereavement support has also been an added emotional dilemma for them.
Parent carers have found that their caring roles have intensified during the lock down causing a strain on families. Some Parent Carers were struggling with their own mental health and wellbeing. Overall Isolation and anxiety have been paramount during this pandemic.
We now offer carers Zoom carers support meetings on a weekly basis were people could see each other discussing their feelings and concerns. The Zoom meetings created a peer support service for them all and one group has link with our organisation to organise Zoom meetings for their support group to continue.
During this pandemic, we have supported carers and their family to remain determined, strong and resilience and most importantly connected with each other and not alone.