The impact of Care Act Easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020
Full title: The impact of Care Act easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 on co-resident carers, over the age of 70, with spouses or partners living with dementia
During the COVID-19 pandemic, carers over the age of 70 with spouses or partners living with dementia and residing at home have faced several challenges.
These include the withdrawal of services, restrictions of movement and risks of illness. The pandemic has also placed a strain on some of those living with dementia.
New emergency legislation was introduced in the Coronavirus Act 2020 by the UK government in response to the pandemic. This included the unprecedented powers for local authorities to suspend the majority of their adult social care duties required under the Care Act 2014.
These suspensions were known as easements. Eight local authorities introduced easements at the initial peak of the pandemic, while many others adapted their services.
Our research explores the impact of these easements on co-resident carers over the age of 70. We are interested to hear views on:
- the resources needed;
- what could have been done to better support both carers and practitioners;
- how prior cuts and/or restructuring might have impacted upon the action that they were able to take;
- what was and is needed, now and for the future, at a national, regional, local and community level.
Through doing this research, we seek to understand the wider social impacts and legal implications of this suspension of these legal rights in a balanced way.
- Investigate the consequences of Care Act Easements on carers (aged 70+) of people living with dementia at home, comparing experiences of carers in different local authorities.
- Explore this issue with safeguarding and social work leads, who were involved in making decisions in the context of this particular set of circumstances.
We will submit an interim report to the legislative review of the Coronavirus Act 2020 as we deliver a final report to the Department of Health and Social Care, the Local Government Association and local authorities.
We will also seek to make formal submissions to parliamentary select committees to inform related investigative work.
In addition, we will produce accessible, easy to understand summaries of our reports and outputs for stakeholders and the public.
1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
Find out more about the people involved in this project:
Associated publications and resources
- Impact of Care Act Easements – Webinar video 19.01.23 (YouTube)
- Slides from Webinar 19.01.23 (PDF)
- Final Report: The Impact of Care Act Easements under the Coronavirus Act 2020 on older carers supporting family members living with dementia at home – Summary Briefing, Executive Summary, Full Report, Appendices to Final Report (PDF)
- Older carers and their spouses living at home with dementia: a relational approach to understanding responses to service disengagement during the pandemic. Slides presented at British Society of Gerontology conference on 07.07.22.
- Care Act duties and COVID-19: Reflections on the rationing of social care. Home Care Research Forum Webinar Slides 18.05.22 (PDF)
- Impact of Care Easements Webinar video 02.03.22 (YouTube)
- Impact of Care Easements Webinar Slides 02.03.22 (PDF)
- Carers’ Rights Seminar (YouTube)
- HSR UK Conference Workshop slides (PDF)
- Presentation slides: Emerging findings to DHSC in November 2021 (PDF)
- Research with family carers of people living with dementia: recruiting during the pandemic (Ageing Issues / British Society of Gerontology Blog)
- Teasing the easing of the Care Act 2014: Transparent legal protection or hidden unmet need? (Ageing Issues / British Society of Gerontology Blog)