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Unpaid carers were isolated even before lockdown – now we’re invisible

When people stand at their door to clap every Thursday evening, they might be applauding NHS staff or social care workers. But how many are thinking about the country’s army of unpaid carers? For the past eight years, my brother and I have been caring for my mother, who has early onset dementia, diabetes and other health issues. My brother bears most of the burden, but most days I make the two-bus, six-mile journey to visit.

My brother and I wash, dress and feed Mum. I wash her hair and do her nails once a week. We administer eye drops every day, as she’s had cataracts. She has incontinence issues and we administer a weekly enema. We have little to no support from the NHS or social services. The district nurse visits every three months to change her catheter, but other than that we’re on our own.

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