Although it’s extremely rewarding, being a Shared Lives carer can also be challenging at the best of times, so how are they and their customers coping with the lockdown and uncertainty of recent months? We’ve been talking to some of our carers to find out how they’ve been getting on and what advice they would give carers in the same situation.
Ruth & Asim
Nothing has changed for us, except that Asim can’t see his family. I have tried to keep everything as normal as possible for him; we go out every day, to wave hello & chat to my son through the window, to go into Bury (which is very quiet, at the moment) for a sausage roll, or we go to Morrisons.
Asim does get frustrated because he doesn’t understand why the shops have all been closed for so long; when he feels like this he can find it hard to talk clearly, so this can be difficult. I think the best advice is to get into a routine. We still do a lot of our normal activities at the usual times and Asim still has the same choices to make every day.
Trish, Lucy & Sarisa
Although Lucy and Sarisa are at home all day at the moment, instead of at college, we have tried to keep things normal. We do smaller shopping trips to smaller shops, we go for a walk most days and go to see the horses. Both ladies have accepted the changes really well and we haven’t had any big challenges.
My advice would be to take each day as it comes and if you start to feel frustrated, try to take a step back.
Julie, Mark & Gary
Quite a lot has changed for Gary, as he can’t go to the pub, out for meals or spend time in the community centre at the moment. There are some positives though; he’s been helping out in our shop, which he really enjoys. We’ve been getting takeaways instead of eating out and we’ve been going for walks and spending more time in the garden.
It’s been a challenge to channel Gary’s attention onto new and different things, which takes more thought!
It’s hard to give advice because every carer and customer is different, but I would say try different things and find what works best for them.
David & Tom
The biggest change to Tom’s life is that he can’t spend time with friends, which he enjoys. His family and friends can’t visit because he’s been shielding. It’s been hard to motivate him because he’s afraid of the virus. Tom doesn’t want to do anything – not even walk around the grounds of the local hotel as he normally does. I’m finding it hard to cope with shopping when people aren’t safely distancing or following directions.
Don’t give up though! Do as much as you can. Go out as much as you can and try to encourage your customer to go out, even if it is just in the garden.
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