The long-term impacts of the pandemic on the mental health of carers of people with dementia

Presenter: Dr Clarissa Giebel, University of Liverpool and NIHR Applied Research Collaboration at North West Coast

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About the presentationClarissa Giebel

Unpaid carers provide increasing hours of care as the dementia advances, generally without recognition and support, resulting in many unmet needs for the carers themselves. With the early pandemic’s face-to-face restrictions resulting in closures of social care and social support services, the long-term impacts of the pandemic on unpaid dementia carers remains unclear. 

In this talk, findings from the first UK COVID-19 social care in dementia study, and a systematic review into the early impacts of the pandemic on unpaid dementia carers, will provide the backdrop to an ongoing study into the mental health needs of carers. This ongoing study is recruiting unpaid dementia and older adult carers, as well as paid carers working in the home care and care home sector, to collect remote semi-structured interviews about their mental health needs and experience and support availability.  

As our global systematic review has highlighted, unpaid dementia carers have been affected in three key areas - accessing care and support, carer burden, and well-being. The long-term impacts on the mental health component specifically have been captured in depth among twenty-nine unpaid and paid carers who have participated already. To date, more unpaid carers have participated and shared how caring for someone with dementia since the pandemic has increased their mental health needs whilst most carers are lacking adequate support. Implications of the findings for carer support and mental health care are discussed.

About the presenter

Dr Clarissa Giebel is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool and NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast. Her mixed-methods research is focusing on inequalities in dementia care, and she is leading on national and international research with partners in Colombia, India, Uganda, the Netherlands, and others. Passionate about public involvement, Clarissa set up the public Liverpool Dementia & Ageing Research Forum and hosts her own science podcast, The Ageing Scientist.

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