One of the interesting things we have seen over the past year is a delay in making care decisions.

COVID-19 has increased the amount of people trying a DIY approach to care, perhaps this has shown some of us we are not meant to be carers?

Sadly, much of this has been driven by a national growing fear of care homes. Most people do not realise there are several alternatives before a care home might be the right choice.

This delay in decisions has led to another change for many families, mainly due to people being furloughed or working from home. This has seen them decide that now they are at home, or have more time they believe they can fit caring for a parent in to this new routine. A driver for many has been the perceived cost savings of not using a care home or alternative.

A bit of a struggle…

Most people trying this approach have had a stark realisation that care is a full-time job and requires certain skills. They are usually too close to the “client” and so find it frustrating to live with the repetition and same old issues. In effect it has not been plain sailing and for some, it has created memories that are not what they would have wanted. They might have faced the reality that Mum really is failing, and they are not able to change that or know how to handle it in the best way.

On a more personal note, most families will find the personal care aspects difficult and probably do not realise its likely much more difficult for Mum or Dad to have their children help them with the most personal issues, where dignity really does become such an important issue.

Are we all built to care?

This also begs the question of how many of these self-made “Covid carers” really understand how to care properly. When we chat to people, or visit to assess, its often worrying to see the way families provide care. From simple lifting, moving, and handling, to activities, meals and especially personal care and bathing etc. Quite often the risk of injury or harm, not just to the person being cared for but also to the person providing the care is significantly increased as they have not been trained to provide care safely or correctly.

As a provider we bring many benefits, those that have tried to do it themselves now see these for the value they really bring. Families are often too close; we have a different agenda, always driven by the client’s needs, we are trained to ensure safety and dignity is always maintained, we are ok with the repetition and old stories because we haven’t and don’t live with it, so we can make it enjoyable and give time with fresh ears.

Let’s not forget great care is very important for families too, it’s stressful, often a worry and extra work. Care might be your last investment in a parent who supported you and probably still sees you as their child – all parents do! It is worth giving back to ensure they get great care, and you get to enjoy the best bits and retain the best memories while you can. A look at our testimonials shows just how grateful families have been for the support we were able to bring, we love that, it is why we do the job.

You might have found over that past year that you are not the best carer. No doubt you probably have the best of intentions to support your loved one, however it is probably better handled by a professional provider.

We are always here to answer questions for those of you that are not sure what to do; you might only need a few hours a day to support or perhaps a live-in carer might be suitable.

Get in touch for a chat about your options: 01189 977499 or click here.