Being a carer during Covid-19

We’ve been self isolating since Thursday March 12th. M’Lady (aka Kitty) usually has 2 carers 4 times a day - and anything up to 20 in a week. That’s just too many people to even contemplate. We had our last visit from Fife Council Homecare carers on Sunday March 15th.

“We’ve booked a flight to Malaga in June. I guess it won’t go ahead now”, said Carer 1. “We used to sing a song about Malaga when I was in primary school”, quips M’Lady. “ Eh, I think you mean MALAWI”, says Yours Truly. “Where do you think Malaga is”? I ask. “In another country possibly”, said M’Lady. She is SO geographically challenged. I mean, this is the lady who thinks the Tyne Tunnel runs under the River Mersey. That Poland is outside Europe. And that there’s a country called Peruvia, which is inhabited by Peruvians.

Since isolating, I’ve been doing all Kitty’s care - washing, dressing, hoisting to give her a change of position. I appreciate that not everyone is in the fortunate position of being able to do that but we are. I’ve been working on my fitness since last October and have lost 14.6 kg - that’s 32 lbs in old money. I had become very unfit and overweight and it’s made me very aware of the importance of carers looking after themselves. I was working out at the gym and going to a Pilates class but I’m now doing it all online via an app called Zoom.

Day three of isolation dawned and it all kicked off about 6.15am. “Alexa. Mumble mumble”. Pause. “Alexa. Alexa. Alexa. Pause. ALEXA”. This went on for about twenty minutes. I should explain that I have a camera in M’Lady’s bedroom and a monitor beside our bed so that I can keep an eye on her during the night. The volume is normally switched off as she snorts and snores louder then George Pig but I’d gone to bed early that night so I’d turned on the volume. Whatta mistake-a to make-a!

We try to get out into the garden every day. It’s beginning to look quite nice. M’Lady manages to help by hoeing the monobloc to get rid of the moss - well, I can’t have her just sitting there doing nothing, can I?

The other biggie in our daily routine is laundry. I do about 3 loads a day, which also gets us outdoors as the weather has been fine for drying. Every cloud and all that...

We had a family and friends Zoom link on Sunday past to do the Sunday Post Quiz. We managed to link up with Massachusetts, London, Stockport, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Glenrothes, and Windygates - and us in Lundin Links. It was such a laugh and great to see so many people join in (21 in total).

My husband, Colin, was 70 on the 23rd March. We were supposed to fly to Cork for the weekend to visit family. Instead, we had dinner ‘à deux’ in the conservatory. We’ve decided to keep romance alive and have a dinner date weekly on Saturday nights. (We’ve only been married 6 years - can you tell?) This week’s meal was courtesy of Lily’s Larder and delivered to our door by the lovely David. It was so nice to have a meal I hadn’t prepared myself.

We have lovely neighbours, who stop for a chat at the garden gate and have kindly collected a few things from the village store. I’m about to sign us up to have deliveries from our village task force - a fabulous effort by some very dedicated loc ask volunteers, who have joined forces to help the more vulnerable members of our community.

It’s a scary time right now but we are trying to focus on positive things - what we can do rather than what we can’t. I hope you are all coping and that we’ll see some of you at Leuchie when this is over.

Jan, carer to Kitty.
(Both are regular guests at Leuchie House)