The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting on all areas of our lives. In just a few weeks, life as we knew it has changed beyond recognition. There has never been a more important time for disabled people to have a voice.
Disabled people are not just at risk from the virus. We’re at risk from the actions of public bodies and others who don’t understand who we are, what we need or what will work. Why? Because they haven’t asked us. Not only will this mean that thousands of us don’t get what we urgently need but getting it wrong costs providers valuable time and money. Yet, as disabled people, we’re well used to finding creative ways to do things because the usual ways don’t work for us.We want policy and decision-makers in Scotland to know what is really happening to disabled people on the ground, what changes are needed and to recognise disabled people are experts in our own lives. Involving us, which includes taking into account the lived experience set out in this report, is crucial to making the right decisions
We created a survey to gather evidence of what disabled people are experiencing during Covid-19. Thanks you to the 822 people who responded! Our initial findings are now available.
Our survey quickly showed that the Covid-19 crisis is having a significant impact on the mental health of disabled people and their carers. Around 15% of all respondents told us explicitly that their mental health has been negatively affected by the current crisis. Many hundreds of others told us about the stress and anxiety that they are experiencing at this time due to a number of issues.
Disabled people and their carers are under significant pressure because:
- Social care support has been stopped or reduced: Almost half of people responding on this issue told us that said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the social care support they get, formal and informal. Around 30% of respondents told us their support had either stopped completely or had been reduced.
- People have new or increased caring responsibilities: Around 40% of people who responded to this question are experiencing challenges with caring for children/family members since the start of the pandemic.
- Disabled people are struggling to get access to the food and medicine they need: Around two thirds of those responding to this question (64%) said that the crisis has had an impact on getting the food or medicine that they need for themselves or the person they care for.
- People are being asked to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) notices: Though we didn’t ask a specific question about DNR, 4 respondents told us that they or someone they know had been asked to sign DNR notices or informed that they would not be ventilated should they contract Covid-19.
- People are concerned that they will lose their job: Around one in ten respondents to this question (11%) were concerned that they could lose their job as a result of the pandemic.
- Social distancing and isolation is proving extremely challenging: Disabled people with and without pre-existing mental health conditions are finding everyday life under lock-down extremely stressful. Significant numbers of disabled people (15) with existing mental health problems told us that they are feeling suicidal at this time.
To speak to someone about the Initial Findings of our evidence survey please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 0131 370 6700 and leave a message, we will get back to you.