While all of our daily lives have been affected by the ongoing restrictions and new social rules during this new time, the elderly and vulnerable in our community are certainly feeling the impact much more as their daily routines have been upended and they have less options available to easily adapt.
So explains Christine, who has been a home support worker in Manningham since 1998 and works in our In-Home Services Team assisting clients for personal care, general home care and also respite care.
In a regular week before COVID-19, Christine says that she might have taken her clients out shopping for food and other items, or taken them to the post office and local bank branch. While she also would help with small tasks and personal care, Christine would encourage and empower her clients to do as much themselves as possible.
Right now, she says, things are very different. The extra social distancing rules to protect the safety of her clients have added extra complications to adapt to.
Due to concerns for their health, Christine’s clients can no longer accompany her to the shops or on errand runs. Shopping is completed on pre-written lists, which can be challenging with some items not available on the supermarket shelves. Initially, many clients struggled with sold-out items, and so Christine provided some toilet rolls to help out her clients in need.
“It’s been pretty tricky,” she says. “Most of my clients haven’t left the house in almost two months – not at all. They are often quite isolated and not able to get outside like many people. They are frustrated as they are not able to see family, as many don’t have a computer or internet access to set up video calls. So when I arrive at their homes, they are delighted to see a friendly face.”
However, she has also found many of the older residents she works with to still be positive and resilient despite the uncertain times. “They really are an inspiration,” she says.
In Manningham, we are proud to offer a range of support service options for older people in our community.
During this time, we are encouraging everyone to think about their elderly neighbours, friends and community members and offer support where they can. This could be just checking in to say hello or by using our