Guest blog:  Heather Beckey – Caring during COVID

Hi.  My name is Heather and I am a micro carer in the Yeovil area.  At the moment, I am mainly looking after the elderly, and I have worked all the way through the pandemic.

My main challenge was making sure that I had the correct PPE to keep my clients safe. Some days, I found myself waking up with worry, concerned about giving my lovely ladies and gentlemen this horrible disease and that because they are all vulnerable, it would be my fault.  I found it hard continuing to do their food shopping, as even though I took precautions, I could be putting them at risk along with myself.

Due to being diabetic and asthmatic, I should have been shielding, but due to the struggle of getting priority slots at supermarkets, I felt that I had to continue, so as not to let my clients down. Other days, I felt that I had to keep going as in some cases, I was the only person they saw; I was a big part of their lives and I felt that I helped keep them going.

 

Some of my clients’ physical health declined throughout due to not going out, but I felt all my clients’ mental health suffered as they were not getting the mental or physical stimulation needed and that I, unfortunately, was not in the position to do more.  I was already spending more time with them, chatting and helping around the house, due to family not being able to visit because of restrictions.  I also felt, because it was so hard to get doctors’/nurses’ appointments that they were relying on me for that aspect of care too.  Sadly, the long-term effects of this horrendous pandemic have yet to be seen.

The daily worry of one of my clients getting a positive COVID test result was distressing.  I was concerned about how to cover all of my clients when I knew that all of the other carers were just as busy as I was.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some good times, like feeling fantastic when I turned up and the look on people’s faces as they were happy to see me.  I was so lucky that I did not lose any of my clients to COVID and I remained in good health myself, but it has definitely made me appreciate my family, friends and clients a lot more.  I am also thankful for everything around me and the support I receive from fellow carers.