It’s national Carers Week (8-14 June) and Healthwatch Dorset wants to know about your experiences of being an unpaid carer or being cared for during COVID-19, to help local services understand how to provide better social care and support.  Read Naomi’s story…

It is clear that the impact of coronavirus, including the lockdown, has been particularly difficult for many of our most vulnerable people.  For example, the elderly and those with dementia, those with physical or mental ill health, people with disabilities, and those with addictions.

Caring for people who are sick or vulnerable can be hugely challenging and isolating, even in normal circumstances, and COVID-19 has introduced additional pressures.  For example, many regular care services have been suspended, such as respite care and specialist health care, lockdown has imposed even greater social isolation and disruption to normal routines.

Louise Bate, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, explained why they are asking people to speak up about caring behind closed doors: “There are millions of people across the country who provide care unpaid every day, often with limited support or hidden behind closed doors.  During this national crisis, many carers have had to provide even more care than usual.  Healthwatch Dorset wants to make sure their voice is heard by those responsible health and social care in Dorset, so that they understand the challenges faced by family carers and learn from their experiences in order to make care better.

“We want to hear from local people who receive care and from those who provide care for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.  Your story, which can remain anonymous, will help to influence positive change in local services, so do please get in touch.”

You can share your experience of care during COVID-19 by completing a short online survey:

Call Healthwatch Dorset on 0300 1110102