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'We have been left to go it alone': the well-being of family carers of older people during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Wales'

Maria Allen Orcid Logo, Gideon Calder Orcid Logo

Social Policy Review, Volume: 33, Pages: 115 - 134

Swansea University Authors: Maria Allen Orcid Logo, Gideon Calder Orcid Logo

Abstract

While it has become something of a cliche to say that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare hitherto under-recognised patterns of disadvantage in the UK, the light rarely shines on the situations of family carers. This article addresses this gap. It reports on primary data based on 3...

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Published in: Social Policy Review
ISBN: 978-1-4473-5972-2
Published: Bristol Policy Press 2021
Online Access: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/social-policy-review-33
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57443
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Abstract: While it has become something of a cliche to say that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare hitherto under-recognised patterns of disadvantage in the UK, the light rarely shines on the situations of family carers. This article addresses this gap. It reports on primary data based on 30 semi-structured interviews with family carers living in Wales. Through analysis informed by a critical ethics of care approach, it reveals a context of continuing tensions experienced by carers - tensions that have in key respects been exacerbated by policy responses to the pandemic. We find that in offering protection towards care-receivers, typically along the lines of a medical model, these responses have - among their other implications - often served to undermine the agency of both care-receiver and caregiver and reinforce a discourse in which care is confirmed as a burden, rather than as contributing to well-being. Shining a light on these aspects of the pandemic experience, we argue, offers an opportunity to redefine what well-being for family carers means.
Item Description: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/social-policy-review-33
Keywords: family carers; informal care; unpaid care; COVID-19; Wales; ethics of care
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Start Page: 115
End Page: 134