Published by Amy Peckham-Driver

Categorised in Good To Know

The theme for #CarersWeek2020, which ran from the 8th of June to the 14th, was to ‘make caring visible’. To honour this, we shared a number of short interviews over on our Facebook page that were sent in by some of the amazing carers registered here with us at #SuffolkCarersMatter. Sharing these stories offers insight into the lives of unpaid carers and helps bring visibility to the experiences of the millions of people within the UK taking on that role.

MEET THE CARER:
Lynn

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN YOUR CARING ROLE:
I am Mum to Lucy who is 19 years old and has a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome and Autism. She is also non-verbal. Lucy needs help with washing, dressing and preparing food. She needs someone with her at all times when she is out as she has no sense of danger. She normally attends day provision for adults with learning difficulties Monday to Friday and I provide the taxi service.

HOW HAS THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN AFFECTED YOUR FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD?
It has been quite difficult for Lucy during lockdown as she is unable to understand why she cannot go to her day activities and go out with us at the weekend. I have severe asthma so have been shielding and her Dad has taken her for a walk when he’s able but he has continued to work albeit from home. Lucy has been spending a lot of time in her room and she has become quite inward looking, being unwilling to engage with us if we try to play with her, moody and often tearful. After the initial few weeks she has begun to be reluctant to leave her room even for meals, and often emerges after we have finished ours.

WHAT WORRIES OR CONCERNS YOU ABOUT TIMES AHEAD IN TERMS OF YOUR CARING ROLE?
Obviously I have had no respite from my caring role and it has been tiring especially trying to keep Lucy’s spirits up. Her day activity placements have been supportive through weekly telephone calls and providing activity sheets and sunflower seeds to sow. We struggle with not knowing when this will end and activities and respite will resume and I worry that Lucy will be able to come out of this shell she seems to have gone into.

WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
Lucy has always been a cheerful young lady and if I can get her to smile, although that usually involves me being very silly, then I smile too.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHER CARERS AS ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT?
What we do know is that this WILL end, and as carers we will get a break again to recharge our batteries.

Thank you so much Lynn for your participation – we have loved supporting you since you registered with us & we hope there’s some light on the horizon too – Suffolk carers Matter

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