The experiences of carers of adults with intellectual disabilities during the first COVID-19 lockdown period

Varsha Patel, Gisela Perez-Olivas, Biza Stenfert Kroese, Gemma Rogers, John Rose, Glynis Murphy, Vivien Cooper, Peter E. Langdon, Steve Hiles, Clair Clifford, Paul Willner

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Background: The recent COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread international restrictions, severely impacting on health and social care services. For many individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) this meant reduced access to services and support for them and their carers.

Aim: The aim of this study was to gain insight into the ways parents of adults with ID coped during the first 2020 lockdown period.

Methods: Eight parents of adults with ID were interviewed. The recordings of these interviews were subjected to a thematic analysis.

Results: Four main themes were identified: powerless and unappreciated; coping under lockdown; support; and the impact of lockdown on well-being.

Conclusions: The parents of adults with ID who made up our sample reported that they received little support from services and experienced a sense of powerlessness. Nevertheless, they were open to accepting support from family and friends and showed remarkable resilience. These findings are discussed in the light of the Willner et al. (2020) survey results on parental mental health and coping, and suggestions for future service provision during pandemic conditions are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Early online date15 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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