The Tasker family – Reuben, Gary, Jane and Faith

THREE in four families caring for disabled adults feel they have been forgotten about during the lockdown – and received no information about their support and care being reduced prior to it happening.

A survey by national disability charity Sense also found that one third of families are still waiting for the support to be reinstated.

More than half of families had to take on additional caring responsibilities, and many were denied access to vital community services such as medical treatment, day centres, and support at home.

Faith Tasker, 20, from Liverpool, has complex disabilities, which include being autistic, blind and hearing impaired. When the lockdown begun, the day service and respite support she receives stopped and she was left in the care of her family 24/7.  Seven months later, and the support is still to be reinstated.

“Providing care with no respite is tough”, says Faith’s mother, 60-year-old Jane, “but the hardest thing is the lack of information about when the support will be reinstated, or even what the plan is. You feel like you’re chasing people for updates, and then getting fobbed off.”

Sense is now calling on the Government to provide local authorities with sufficient funding, resources and support, so that families can have their care and support reinstated in full.

The charity’s chief executive, Richard Kramer, said: “Everyone has had their life affected by this pandemic, but few have had a harder time than the families looking after disabled adults over the last five months. Many haven’t had a break from caring and feel isolated and forgotten.

“Devastating cuts to their support have meant they have suffered greatly during the pandemic and are now at breaking point.

“Disabled people’s needs have largely been forgotten, and families have had to take on greater caring responsibilities, with their health and wellbeing suffering as a result.

“Government must take action to reinstate the care and support that families need such as short breaks. We need to see clear and increased communication with disabled people and their families, and sufficient funding, support and resources to local authorities to flexibly deliver care and support.”

Sense is asking supporters to sign their letter, calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, to take action to secure and reinstate community services and support, such as short breaks for disabled adults and their families.