Coming out of lockdown: Doreen’s story

Edna Petzen talks to Great Care Company client Doreen about the challenges around coming out of lockdown.

The pandemic has been a scary time for all of us, particularly older members of our community. One of our clients, Doreen, needed to shield and has been self-isolating for nearly two years. The only contact she has had is with our home carers who have been coming in to support her.

But on August 14, Doreen was finally able to leave her home for the first time, thanks to some extra hours of care we were able to offer her via the Extra Mile Fund.

Doreen was a little apprehensive but keen to get out and about again, and we couldn’t wait to make it happen. So with the help of her carer Rachel, Doreen was able to make a trip to her local market as lockdown eased. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it meant the world to Doreen having been cooped up inside for so long.

Meeting Doreen

We first met Doreen in early May after it became apparent our home care services would be a good fit for her. Doreen had previously suffered a fall, and other than the odd doctor’s appointment or hospital visit she’d struggled to get about like she used to.

The pandemic also understandably knocked her confidence and shielding meant she had even less contact with people than usual.

Our team are pleased to have been able to support Doreen with a range of practical home help solutions as well offer companionship and social interaction.

She often tells us how lovely it is to have someone to talk to regularly as, unfortunately, her only family member lives three hours away. Having previously worked in retail, Doreen is a sociable, chatty lady and that’s something we always encourage!

A trip to the market

On that particular Saturday, our home care assistant Rachel took Doreen out to her local market in Masham. Enjoying the hustle and bustle, Doreen was able to do some shopping and pick up some birthday cards for her loved ones.

Again this seems such a simple thing, but being able to go out with support and security, knowing someone is there, can make all the difference.

After spending a few hours at the market, Doreen and Rachel returned back to the warmth of Doreen’s home. Having enjoyed her trip so much, Doreen is looking forward to heading out again soon.

Doreen told us: ‘It was lovely to go out with Rachel to my local market in Masham.

‘The weather wasn’t very warm but I still loved getting out in the fresh air. I got a couple of birthday cards I needed and it was nice to see other people walking around and the usual noise of the Saturday market.

‘It meant a lot to me to be able to get back out into the community. I don’t recognise many faces these day, but feeling the fresh air on my face and knowing Rachel was there to help me meant so much.’

Rachel added: ‘Taking clients out and about is the part of my job I love the most. To see Doreen really enjoy herself and knowing I and my colleagues played a part in that made me feel like the Harrogate branch is a great team to be part of.

‘The Extra Mile Fund the company has set up means carers can do little extra things that make all the difference at no cost to clients. I can’t wait to go out for trips and activities going forward – it’s been such a long time coming.’

The Extra Mile Fund helps make all the difference

Throughout the pandemic, the Extra Mile Fund – exclusive to the Great Care Company – has meant we’ve been able to offer additional support to numerous clients and their families.

From providing free social and emotional care to free shopping and trips to collect medication, we’re there when it matters. With almost 450 free hours of care being delivered since January last year, we’re dedicated to supporting those who need a little extra.

Photo Credit – The Great Care Company


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