A BRADFORD carer has spoken up for those experiencing local lockdown without the help of loved ones amid calls for support bubbles to be extended.

Marilyn Coles has spent eight months with limited social contact as she cares for her beloved husband who struggles with both dementia and bipolar disorder.

Besides the occasional nap, Marilyn is only completely alone for half an hour every fortnight, when she gets her hair done.

But as his condition deteriorated in lockdown, the carer said it is becoming more stressful to leave him alone, comparing her situation to looking after a toddler.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus: "He's accepting of the fact I'm there but his last question is 'How long will you be?'. He gets really worked up in case the phone will ring. When I get back he's in a real state of panic and that is being left for half an hour once a fortnight. All the time I'm wondering if he's safe, has he fallen? Usually he's fine, he just sits in a chair. There's always that worry because he isn't safe to be left.

"I compared it to having a toddler in the house.

"I'm more concerned of the effect on him. He doesn't understand why, when people come to the door, we don't say 'Come in'. He just doesn't understand.

"At least over the Summer we were able to walk about 200 yards from where we live.

"I really dread the Winter.

"In a sense I'm much better off than many other carers because at least my husband is able to get out for a short walk but there are many people that wouldn't be in that position.

"I'm more concerned about the hundreds of carers that are in a far worse state than me.

"We came up two years ago to be nearer to our daughter as my mother had Alzheimers and I nursed her and, before she died, my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers so I do know what I'm in for."

Under current Government guidelines, a mother and her teenage son, for example, can mix with another household but those caring for 'dependents' are legally not allowed to join another household.

The Government's definition of a support bubble is largely defined as a single-adult household mixing with one other household of any size.

The family's frustration is what pushed her daughter, Deborah Mills, to create a petition to extend support bubbles to include those living on their own with dependents.

The Idle resident said: "My mum is unable to leave him - he follows her around the house, even to the extent of waiting outside the toilet for her.

"Given the restrictions in Bradford, it has become impossible for me to provide them with the support that they need. It would make a huge difference if I were able to form a support bubble so I could provide support and take them out and provide some support for my mum's own mental health and wellbeing and to help prevent my dad's further deterioration.

"They need a support bubble.

"It has been really hard. Bradford went back into lockdown so it's left us in a position where it's very limited with the help I'm able to give my mum. To have any interaction with my family, that would make a difference.

"It's been really tough. It leaves you feeling guilty we're not able to provide that support in the way we want to.

"I feel a bit hopeless. They moved her so I could help them and I'm not able to provide support."

To sign the petition, you can click here.