The experience of our live-in carer Connie and customer Ann, in Connie's own words...


The experience of our live-in carer Connie and customer Ann, in Connie's own words...

Firstly, I do not class myself as a "Covid Hero". I am a carer who accepted that Covid-19 posed a significant threat to "My Lady", my family and myself.

In January it became apparent that this epidemic was sweeping through the world on an unprecedented scale. In February, I had already decided, maybe as a "fight or flight" response to the pandemic, that if we were to go into a Lockdown scenario, as many other countries were doing, that the best way to keep those I care for and love safe, would be to Lockdown with the lady that I look after. This would lessen the likelihood of me contracting the virus and spreading it and prevent other carers from having to run that risk in the "normal" process of covering shifts in the live in care placement.

In March, I had already been asked to cover a little earlier than normal, due to staff absence. I was therefore already on shift when the UK went into it's first Lockdown.

I think that because I had already anticipated the response to the epidemic and "got my head around" staying on shift for the Lockdown period, it wasn't as daunting as it might have been if, for example, I had just been told I had no choice but to stay on shift. My family, Ann and her family were all absolutely fine with the arrangement too.

Obviously, the most difficult aspect of the Lockdown was not being able to visit those we love. This was no different for me or Ann. We were in the same boat. She missed seeing her friend's at coffee morning and friend's dropping in for lunch or a chat. She certainly missed her weekly trips to the hairdresser's. Although I could wash and blow dry her hair, I couldn't cut it. We both had to laugh at the length our hair got during that first Lockdown.

Luckily, I was able to link up to Ann's loved ones via WhatsApp, so she was able to see them and have a chat.

Ann and I celebrated VE Day with an afternoon tea in her kitchen, which I had turned into a 1940s tearoom, complete with bunting and the best china. During that week, we also had some homemade wartime fayre, taken from authentic recipes. There was an air of war time , as we were kind of fighting an unknown enemy in regards of Covid-19. It was having a major impact on supplies. I managed to source produce from local companies that delivered goods to the house. I am lucky to be a good cook and can stretch food into tasty and nutritious meals that are enjoyed by Ann.

We had a wonderfully warm spring and as we found out from the doctor that Ann did not have to isolate, we were able to get out and have fresh air. We took a flask of Bovril to the seafront on a few occasions, to make the most of the beautiful weather.

I am lucky that I look after, and have done for 9 and a half years, a wonderful lady. She is an inspiration to me. She has lived through so much, including a World War and her stroke and now this epidemic and a second Lockdown...and she is again having to put up with me for such long periods of time. She is my hero!