Coronavirus lockdown: Carer, 93, 'exhausted' looking after disabled son

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image captionBarbara MacArthur and son Howard

A 93-year-old mother has spoken about caring for her disabled adult son during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barbara MacArthur, from Cardiff, said some days she was "exhausted" and that she and son Howard, 66, had been "fed up" during lockdown.

Howard has a social worker and meals on wheels are delivered to the family's home.

Cardiff council said it contacts people and provides services when it becomes aware of those needing help.

Mrs MacArthur, a former police officer and social worker, said: "I suppose we give the impression that we are OK, which is partly our fault. We probably put on a brave face.

"Some days I'm exhausted. We're OK. We've got the television and we've got the computer."

Her son has learning difficulties and physical disabilities and is recovering from the effects of sepsis.

Early in lockdown, Mrs MacArthur said she could not shop online because all the supermarket delivery slots were booked.

So her local Senedd member Jenny Rathbone raised her case with bosses at Tesco to make sure they could order groceries.

Mrs MacArthur said life in lockdown had left them "fed up".

"I suppose we are better off than most people," she said.

"The fact that we are autistic means that we are loners and we enjoy our own company better than anything.

"And, of course, I write my silly letters."

Offers of help were made on Twitter after one of her letters, complaining about a "broken" care system, was published in the Guardian.

Mrs MacArthur said if there was another wave of the virus "we know one way or another we are going to cope".

A Cardiff Council spokesman said it had "worked tirelessly to support vulnerable individuals across the city throughout the pandemic".

"Whilst we cannot comment on individual circumstances, when we become aware via any route that someone needs some additional support we will always proactively contact them and provide services," he said. 

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