She is worried about the effect of the second lockdown on Maja’s mental health. Before the coronavirus, Maja’s favorite shows were Postman Pat and Bob the Builder, but Helen was amazed to see her start watching the news.

“The problem was she was having a hard time figuring it out, so when Boris Johnson mentioned the easing of the lockdown Maja thought that was it, it was over. I had to try to explain to him that we still couldn’t get out.

She is now trying to protect Maja from the news. And after three months of conversations with her GP and social worker, Maja finally received antidepressants in September. But with the approach of winter, going out for relaxing walks will be more difficult.

Thinking back to that day in June, Helen said, “If she was functioning a little better, I doubt she is still with us now.

She is also worried about her own sanity, “because it’s just all consuming.” It’s physical and it’s mental.

What exactly is a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health issue, or who needs additional help as they go. he is getting older.

What is the likelihood of becoming an unpaid caregiver?

You are just as likely to care for a loved one for free as you are to own your own home. The average person can just as easily expect to become an unpaid caregiver for an elderly, disabled or critically ill person, something few are prepared for.

Many of us don’t expect to become an unpaid caregiver, but the reality is that two of us will in our lifetime.

In the UK, the average person has a 50/50 chance of caring for them by the age of 50, well before reaching retirement age. On average, women can expect to take on family responsibilities more than a decade earlier than men.

Half of women in the UK will become caregivers by age 46, compared to half of men, who can expect to become caregivers at 57.

Take care of the numbers

Carers UK estimates that 4.5 million people in the UK have become unpaid caregivers during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is in addition to the 9.1 million people already caring before the outbreak, bringing the total to 13.6 million.

One in seven of the UK’s national workforce is unpaid caregivers, Carers UK estimates.

Every day, 600 people in the UK give up their jobs to care for elderly or disabled parents.

A 2019 survey of more than 7,000 caregivers shows that more than half (53%) of all caregivers cannot save anything for retirement.

100,000 unpaid caregivers had to rely on a food bank during the pandemic.

Carers UK is one of four charities supported by the Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal. The others are Refuge, Macmillan Cancer Support and Cruse Bereavement Care. To make a donation, go to or call 0151 284 1927

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