SEVEN in 10 carers were providing more care during the pandemic than before, according to data from Carers UK.

The same survey also found this increase in care was a result of services closing down. This resulted in carers working at least 10 hours more than before the onset of Covid-19.

It was also found that 69 per cent were providing more emotional support or checking in on people they cared for.

CEO of Carer Support Wiltshire Judy Walker said: “The cared for person might be a loved one, a partner, a child but it could be a neighbour.

“We define a carer in this situation as somebody without whom the cared for person could not live safely and comfortably in the community.

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“The role, became very very challenge for someone who was at a distance from the person they were caring for.”

Care Support Wiltshire found that many carers had not ventured far from their homes until May this year.

In total, 38 per cent said they were concerned about their financial situation, and the work they would have to do in order to continue caring.

“This time last year there was still very high levels of the virus,” Ms Walker continued. “They [carers] were worried and remained worried for well over a year in many cases, about bringing a risk of Covid to their home or the person they cared for.”

The organisation also found that carers were experiencing mental health worries or stress – though this was put down to multiple factors.

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“As the lockdown eased, they didn’t see any real changes in their circumstances. The things they were concerned about were still a problem because they were aware of the level of Covid in the community.

“Young carers and young adult carers were experiencing isolation during lockdown and we worked very closely with education colleagues in the council to try and ensure that schools reached out and sustained contact with young carers that they were aware of.

“To reduce their isolation and to support their education as far as possible.”

In July this year, CSW noted that all services had resumed with extra Covid precautions for face-to-face meetings while retaining phone and virtual access for those unable to get out.

Carer awareness training in hospitals resumed but it is not yet at pre-Covid levels and the carer’s cafe at GWH has not restarted due to on-going Covid issues.

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According to the report, carers said: “Confronting my independence and how to work that.”

“Good - less commuting means a bit more downtime.”

“Glad to be coming out the other end of it, however it has been draining for everyone, particularly I think for us as carers with additional responsibilities.”

They also said that more carer relief and agency support would help now lockdown has lifted.