In 2019, Sheila worked part-time as well as supporting her son who has learning disabilities. Birmingham Carers Hub gave Sheila a statutory Carer’s Assessment and found that she was coping really well and put her in touch with some local support groups.
At Sheila’s next Carer’s Assessment, the following year, her circumstances had changed, she had retired, money was a strain and the impact of protecting herself and her son from Covid-19 had taken its toll. Lockdown meant that Sheila was unable to attend her usual exercise and relaxation sessions. Birmingham Carers Hub gave Sheila information about our partners such as the Birmingham Buddhist Centre’s online classes and also referred the family to Midland Mencap for support.
Our advisor reviewed Sheila’s benefit entitlement and identified some extra money linked to her pension and the carer’s premium. We were also delighted to award her with a wellbeing payment of £250 to help with decorating costs which she felt would desperately improve the environment for them living together at home.
This provides an insight into how covid-19 has impacted carers but also just how quickly things can change. Sheila had gone from a happy, very independent situation coping well with very little support from us or other agencies; to a situation just 12 months later where she felt isolated, had financial difficulties as well as experiencing some health issues.
Covid 19, subsequent shielding and lockdown restrictions compounded the situation. The impact of our support is therefore very much about preventing further escalation of need, which may well have happened without our intervention and support.