Home care during the pandemic

My name is Kirsty from Familiar Faces. I have been providing a private home care service for the vulnerable and the elderly in the Wychwoods area for nearly four years.  

Since writing my article in the August/September edition last year, we have continued further into the depths of Covid. For most it has been a tough and challenging time what with masks, social distancing and the like.

There are so many other factors to consider when working with elderly care and mental health, including dementia, the hard of hearing and people who are unable to read lips, clinical dressings, distressed clients who battled with not seeing nearest and dearest in the times they needed support the most. Loneliness has been a massive factor throughout Covid-19. Keeping up morale in very difficult circumstances along with managing our own mental health and the effects of the pandemic has been a considerable effort.

I love my job and I find it highly rewarding. During the pandemic I have been fortunate enough to have had a positive experience with my clients. Other than myself having Covid-19, none of my clients have caught the virus. Working as an independent carer, visiting people at the homes has meant infection rates for them have stayed low due to less exposure.

It has been uplifting to see my clients every day, not only to be able to continue to support them but to comfort them when moods were at an all-time low! It was good to share companionship through these particularly isolating times.

What has inspired me most is how my clients have continued to remain in high spirits. My visits have allowed clients to talk freely about their concerns and worries, listen to their stories of how they went through such tough and devastating times through the war, not only times of great worry and sadness but also happy times.  Now, some are in their 90s and still doing well, still fighting on. This in itself gave me positivity to believe we must get through Covid! It has definitely brought the community together and made people realise just how much we need human contact; it is essential.

Whilst Covid has not gone away but restrictions ease off somewhat, I can continue to make regular daily visits pootling through the countryside here, there, and everywhere. I look at the positive times and the things I can share on my daily rounds like reading to clients and creating hobbies, bird watching and catching up on the latest news and taking pictures of flowers – rewarding as well as challenging!

Kirsty Hathaway

October-November 2021