'Unprecedented' surge in people struggling to cope during pandemic

'Unprecedented' surge in people struggling to cope during pandemic

Lockdown triggers care crisis: ‘Unprecedented’ surge in people caring for family members struggling to cope during pandemic 

  • New survey reveals adults are struggling to care for family members at home 
  • Social services have seen a sharp uptick in vulnerable adults needing help 
  • A support association is now calling for the government to do more to help 

The coronavirus lockdown has triggered an ‘unprecedented’ care crisis in Britain with a surge in people caring for family members struggling to cope during the pandemic.

Social services have experienced a sharp increase in the number of vulnerable adults seeking help as the pandemic continues, a leading support association has said.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), warned that adult social care needed to be prioritised in the forthcoming government spending review as ‘tens of thousands’ of people sought the help of support services.

A survey of 100 councils conducted by Adass found that local authorities were receiving an ‘unprecedented’ number of requests since the start of the crisis.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), warned that adult social care needed to be prioritised in the forthcoming government spending review (file photo)

James Bullion, Adass president, said: ‘This report paints a stark picture of how the pandemic has affected millions of us who have care and support needs, or who care for a family member who does.

‘For the first time, we have hard evidence of the scale and breadth of the impact of Covid-19 on those of us who are working-age disabled people, older people, family members, and carers.’

The survey found an 82% rise in demand for help from people being discharged from hospital, reported by adult service directors.

It also found a 69% increase in cases of domestic abuse and need for safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

Meanwhile, it discovered a 63% increase in people seeking help due to breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements through sickness or unavailability, reported by local councils.

Adass said that without immediate support, millions of people could be at risk of receiving no care or support as the crisis continues.

The survey found a 69% increase in cases of domestic abuse and need for safeguarding of vulnerable adults

The association is seeking a special package in Wednesday’s spending review to stabilise the adult social care system in 2021 and offer longer term certainty.

Mr Bullion said that the report should be ‘a wake-up call’ for the Government, and warned that if no action was taken, the cost would be paid ‘by society and the economy’.

‘This is an opportunity to send a clear signal that working-age disabled people, older people and carers, are recognised, valued and protected,’ he said.

‘Failure to invest now will also make the goal of long-term reform so much harder to achieve.’

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