Looking after my father through a pandemic…

Submitted by Kim-Marie
Outpatient Receptionist, St Richard’s Hospital

I am my Father’s carer. He still lives at home and waiting a formal diagnosis of dementia.

When lockdown first happened, my father did not understand what was going on, masks or not leaving the house. Why couldn’t I visit? I put my phone number in his wallet and every time there was a problem, he (or others) would call me at work. My manager was very understanding and would let me take toil if I had any.

The waiting list was over a year to get the official diagnosis for the dementia. My brother who lives miles away in Lincoln could not drive down to help. He had his own family ‘bubble’ and didn’t want to come near dad as he is 83 and a chronic asthmatic.

Dad was in and out of A&E and I was not allowed in. I needed to register as his carer so I could be with him as he was not remembering why he was even in A&E.

It remained difficult as I thought I was more of a risk to my dad by going to work every day. I am a chronic asthmatic myself, so I was scared going to work every day. When we were told to wear a mask daily, my breathing was worse, but I wear one to stay safe.

We finally have had an assessment but not the official diagnosis. I still wear my mask while with dad. I know other people have not been able to see loved ones and others have passed but life was and still remains very hard.

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