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Your Family Relationships in Lockdown – Broken, Lonely or Better?

Your Family Relationships in Lockdown – Broken, Lonely or Better?

People you live with

According to a recent study by You.Gov, 27% of 3,710 UK people surveyed said that being in lockdown had brought them closer to their family and loved ones, with 54% saying that Lockdown had made no difference to their relationships, and 15% saying it had pulled them apart from their family and loved ones.

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In another You.Gov survey of 2,625 people, only 20% of people said that Lockdown had put additional strain on the relationship with the people they lived with, with 59% saying it had made no difference.

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Social bubbles & loneliness

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) July report on the Social Impact of Coronavirus:

  • Over a quarter of adults (26%) had formed a support bubble with another household in England and Scotland, and nearly 9 in 10 (89%) of them had either visited or been visited by that household at least once.

  • Of those adults in a "support bubble", 6 in 10 (57%) said the main reason for visiting another household was for relationships and companionship.

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In an adjacent July study by the ONS regarding loneliness:

  • 0% of people in Great Britain (2.6 million adults) reported that they felt lonely "often" or "always" between 3 April and 3 May 2020, about the same proportion as pre-lockdown.

  • Of those asked, 30.9% (7.4 million adults) reported their well-being had been affected through their feeling lonely in the past seven days.

  • Working-age adults living alone were more likely to report loneliness both “often or always” and over the past seven days than the average adult; this was also the case for those in "bad" or "very bad" health, in rented accommodation, or who were either single, or divorced, separated or a former or separated civil partner.

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Caring for disabled children

According to the Disabled Children’s Partnership June survey of 4,000 families living with disabled children:

  • 76% of families who did receive support before lockdown, have had all support withdrawn during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • Most parent carers (72%) are providing a lot more care compared with the amount before lockdown. Just over two thirds (68%) said non-disabled siblings were also providing a lot more care.

  • Half of parents whose children had been receiving crucial therapies or other extra support have seen this stop. 86% say lockdown has had a negative impact on their disabled children's learning and communication.

  • The majority (70%) of parents whose children were eligible for a school place had not taken them up; mainly because of concerns about their children's health or because the right provision was not available.

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Older relatives in your family

Age UK has raised awareness of the increased mental health emotional strain that older people are under during Lockdown. Their May 2020 research shows that many older people feel anxious at this time, but not just for themselves.

  • Over four in five (7.7m) people aged 70 and over are worried about the effect that Coronavirus will have on their family and friends, particularly their mental health and wellbeing, with over two-fifths (3.6m) of them believing it will affect it. 

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Lockdown affects family groups differently and puts new strains and pressures on family relationships, causing new relationship problems that were not there before.

James Haworth, Director of family law

If you find that Coronavirus and Lockdown has had a detrimental effect on your family and you’d like to speak to a professional family solicitor who can offer supportive guidance at this time, please contact our Leicestershire-based Family law team. We’re here to help.

Please contact: 
James Haworth, Family Solicitor and Director, Lawson-West Solicitors

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