Leonna’s story – being a home carer during COVID-19
"The first week the clap for carers happened it was quite emotional. I felt that wee bit more valued."
“Everything changed overnight with COVID. We look after hospital discharges, going from house to house organising medication and helping people with daily tasks like washing, dressing and meal prep.
I notice how lonely people are. There’s a lot of lonely people without many people in their life. Because of COVID people went from having maybe one person coming in with their shopping, like a family member, to having no one. It’s hard to see people change, withdrawing into themselves a wee bit because they’re missing people. Sometimes people just want to chat and sometimes I think ‘I wish I could talk to you for hours’. It can be hard to leave them.
I think people need to see their family members but people are still frightened to go near their elderly relatives in case they pass anything on. People need their social clubs and social interaction back.
Everyone I work with is really dedicated, a lot of us do that bit extra to make a client’s life that bit easier. Just wee things we do to make people feel better. I get the feeling sometimes we’re looked on as being ‘just a carer’. But it’s a respect thing. The job that all carers do is important. We’re going into clients’ houses and mostly we’re keeping people out of hospital and care homes. The work we do is really important.
The first week the clap for carers happened it was quite emotional. I felt that wee bit more valued, more recognised. Then I got embarrassed because I’d come out of a client’s house and all the neighbours would be clapping as I walked to the car. My face was scarlet! It was a brilliant idea and it lifted our spirits a bit. I went out and clapped as well when it was my week off work to show my support.
It seems a bit calmer now, we’re not as nervous as we were when it all started. Hopefully things will keep getting better and we can get back to normal.”
End of page.