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A quarter of UK adults became carers during pandemic - EHRC report

21 October 2020

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published emerging evidence on the areas of life affected most by the pandemic, including social care. It warns that Coronavirus will further exacerbate long-standing issues across the sector, with a significant impact on older and disabled people who access care and on those who provide it, both paid and unpaid.

The report: How coronavirus has affected equality and human rights, finds that the impact of the pandemic in care homes stretches beyond loss of life, as lockdown restrictions have isolated residents from family and friends, with a significant impact on their mental and physical health.

It also finds that reduced access to care, combined with isolation measures, has resulted in 4.5 million more people in the UK taking on unpaid caring responsibilities since the start of the pandemic. This is a rise of almost 50%, meaning more than a quarter of the adult population now cares for a family member or friend. Caring responsibilities fall disproportionately on young women with children, with an impact on their health and wellbeing, relationships, finances and employment.

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “This is yet more evidence that the government needs to act swiftly to ensure that social care is funded and resourced to enable disabled and older people to lead full and active lives of their choosing. We hope that the large number of people who have now been involved in providing care shows the government the true value of social care. It is not a nice to have, it is absolutely essential.”

Read the report here:

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/hard-won-equality-and-human-rights-risk-going-backwards-wake-pandemic