Covid-19 Survey Report: Caring In Lockdown

Almost 700 carers completed our comprehensive survey to give a picture of how they and their families fared during New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Read the resulting report here: Final Caring In Lockdown Report July 2020

We learned a lot about the strength and resilience of carers, who got on with supporting at least one vulnerable family member as the coronavirus took hold in New Zealand. They coped with sudden closure of services, lack of personal protective equipment, and high numbers of carers have not had any respite from caring in weeks. Important changes were made to Funded Family Care and Carer Support that were a surprise to the carer movement, and not well communicated to carers. This has resulted in a lottery effect, with some carers able to utilise their funding more flexibly, while many others missed out on the potential benefits of changes that could have made a difference during the weeks of lockdown.

Now carers are tired. They want to know what their options are all round – for the Government to guide them with good information and to help restore the wellbeing of carers with access to services, respite, and directions about what has changed that affects them during Covid-19.

We encourage wide readership of Caring In Lockdown – the overarching perception is how invisible family carers have been through Covid-19. They did so much, we rely on them as our frontline workforce, and if the survey shows nothing else it is that they deserve so much more:

  • To be viewed, supported, and recognised as a large population of New Zealanders in their own right;
  • To be given the right information to access support and services in future emergencies – and in the months ahead should Covid-19 resurge in New Zealand;
  • To understand their respite options so they can have restorative breaks after weeks of caring through the lockdown;
  • These and other recommendations can be viewed in the report.

A surprise learning for us is that 54% of carers have a disability or chronic condition themselves, while caring for at least one other person. This has prompted us to think even more about carer wellbeing as a core focus for Carers NZ across ages and situations.

Questions or comments? Send them to info@carers.net.nz or phone 0800 777797. Please share the report link with anyone who may be interested.