Revitalise chairman urges Government to act now on Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce Report to restore vital respite care services
Failure could result in permanent damage to physical and mental health
The chairman of Revitalise Respite Holidays, George Blunden, today warned Government that its failure to allow home carers and their loved ones to take desperately needed respite care breaks during this autumn and winter could cause serious long-term damage to the physical and mental well-being of tens of thousands of ordinary people.
He urged Government to respond urgently to the recommendations of the recent Social Care Sector-COVID19 Support Taskforce Report* by changing the rules and opening-up vital short-term care breaks at places like Revitalise, without delay. Restoring hope to the army of forgotten unpaid carers, whose invisible sacrifice goes on behind closed doors in every street, village, town and city across the UK would provide a much-needed boost.
Revitalise chairman George Blunden said:
“The prospect of another six months of isolation and anxiety for unpaid home carers, already at their wits end, will be the final straw for many.
“Their only escape – a respite care lifeline – was snatched away, just when it was within their post-lockdown grasp and now, they have been condemned by a seemingly uncaring Government, to get on with it!
“The Government must act now on the recent Social Care Sector COVID-19 Taskforce report which recommends that vital respite care services like Revitalise should open without delay.
“We cannot allow the long-term physical and mental well-being of home carers and those they care for to be put at risk”.
The voice of carers
“I am just drained physically. It’s a terrible feeling waking up and being tired. I’d like to see the Government live in my shoes for a week”.
Tracey, carer for son Conor
“Carers are ignored. I woke up and thought how long am I going to live with this anxiety? But there is no-one there to listen to us”.
Fatima, carer for daughter Sindhi
“It’s really been like Groundhog Day for most of the year. Carers do their best to hold up psychologically and don’t show their feelings for fear of showing weakness, especially men. But it has played on our mental state”.
John, carer for wife Alison
“I try to keep myself calm and tell myself I know I’m not the only one struggling like this, but I just can’t physically do it. It’s a desperate thing, we both urgently need a break”.
Hilary, carer for son Shaun
“It’s hard to stay positive all the time. I would love to be able to take a break – I am stressed out to the world’s end. The coronavirus is a nightmare, I’m so scared that I am going to bring it home”.
Kevin, carer for wife Annette
These are the unheard voices of home carers, as they struggle to keep going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many face their caring challenge alone as the Coronavirus Act, shortly to be renewed by Parliament, will continue to deprive them of all community support.
Revitalise chairman, George Blunden concluded:
“Covid-19 is a deadly disease but, in an emergency, patients have the best of NHS treatment awaiting them in hospital.
“Is it too much to ask that selfless home carers and their loved ones are able to call on emergency short-term respite care, when they reach crisis point?
“We must protect home carers and we must protect our NHS from the fall-out of a willful failure to make urgently needed respite care available”.
*The Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Taskforce: report on first phase of COVID-19 pandemic was published on 18 September 2020. Recommendations 16 and 18 relate specifically to Revitalise and respite care and recommendation 14 addresses concern over the mental health of