In this story: Carer / COVID-19 /

“Being an unpaid carer can be hard at the best of times; add into that the uncertainty around an invisible virus"

“Being an unpaid carer can be hard at the best of times; add into that the uncertainty around an invisible virus whose name we did not even know until late 2019, and the caring role just became a whole lot more challenging. I know because I am an unpaid carer.

So how am I coping? Well I’m following the advice for a start. Hard as it is to be isolating it must be done. I’m trying to support my husband through this while his face to face support service moves to telephone support and reduced hours. I am keeping in touch with my elderly parents via telephone – digital age has passed them by. I take them essentials, a round trip of 130 miles, once a week and wave through window to them. These are difficult times indeed.

Finding yourself constantly checking social media or TV for updates? Try not to do this. I take a break from it all. I find watching some movies or comedy shows really takes me away from the situation, and it also helps my husband relax. Music is great as well, if it is lively music. Move around to the music, encourage the person you care for to do the same if possible, moving is a way of getting some exercise.

Talk to someone at a local carer service. I miss my one to one contact with fellow carers and support worker, so I keep in touch via email or phone. I write down how I am feeling and put it in a jar to be dealt with later. When I return to the jar sometimes the worry is not that great anymore. Other times I know it is something I will deal with when life gets back to normality. I am realistic, there is only so many things I can control and deal with. Accepting what you can control is essential.  We can worry about reduced support, but we can’t do anything about that at this critical time because services are facing the same issues, we all are. I have to trust the people running services to be making the best decisions, not just for me, my husband and my parents, but for all of us”.

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