Responding to the recent publication of the Carers Census, which highlighted that only 29% of carers were given a short break or respite Willie Rennie MSP has today urged the Government to intensify their efforts in offering time off to unpaid carers.
The report provided a much-needed insight into support provided to carers, especially as Scotland enters a new phase of the pandemic and could potentially see further restrictions.
The report provided further data that showed just 50% of young carers and 27% of adult carers were given short breaks.
Pre-pandemic there were 800,000 people in Scotland who looked after someone else in an unpaid capacity, and that may have risen to over a million.
Mr Rennie said:
“Most carers struggled to get a single break since the pandemic began and these figures clearly show that there is an ongoing problem.
“Being a carer is very demanding, it takes time, energy and can leave one feeling isolated.
“This summer I fought very hard to reopen adult day care centres, not just to allow carers to some much deserved time off but also to allow adults to be in social situations after so many months of lockdown and isolation.
“As a new covid variant runs rampant we need to make sure there are sufficient and reliable opportunities for respite, a break from caring while knowing your loved ones are safe and cared for. I urge the government to ramp up their efforts in guaranteeing respite support for everyone who needs it.
“The pandemic has shown us just how much our healthcare system and communities depend on carers. We cannot expect carers to do an extremely demanding job when they are just simply exhausted.”