Carers Week 2020 - Employee stories

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Posted 12 June 2020

We are committed to supporting our employees who have caring responsibilities outside of their main role at Housing 21. This Carers Week we are delighted to be able to share some of their stories with you.

Rachel - Retirement Housing Manager

“Until 2019 my dad was enjoying his retirement split between his boat in Cheshire in the summer, and touring Portugal in his camper during the winter months. In January 2019 we received a call from French doctors saying my dad had been found wandering the streets of Paris cold and confused on his way to Portugal. It turned out he had suffered a small stroke and they found my number in his phone.

Rachel and dad“Housing 21 have been very supportive, allowing me to work flexibly for all the times I need to care for Dad.”

“Dad has now developed vascular dementia and has moved to live closer to me as I am his main carer. He is becoming increasingly confused and unable to carry out everyday tasks, relying on me to manage his finances, laundry, food shopping and medication.

“He tends to phone me repeatedly and gets locked out of his home, which is a challenge to deal with during the working day.

“Housing 21 have been very supportive, allowing me to work flexibly for all the times I need to care for Dad.”

Loraine - Learning and Development Partner

“My mum is nearly 92 and had a stroke in June 2016. This took all of her confidence and she wouldn’t go outside without help and support from someone. At the beginning, I was helping with all her care needs - supporting showers, taking meals to her, shopping and cleaning alongside working full time for Housing 21. It was hard work but I was happy to help her.

Loraine with her mother“As time went on, I could see that her confidence was not returning and that we needed to get a more full-time solution in place to support us all. The first thing I did was to buy her a pendant alarm system, so that if she fell, she could summon help (and me) immediately. I arranged carers to come in twice a day to support with showering and getting ready for bed, and a cleaning company to help with the housework. I still look after all of her medication needs, bring over extra meals in the week, shopping and finances, and I ring her every evening. Before coronavirus she came to ours at least once a week and for Sunday lunch, which we’re looking forward to starting up again when the time is right!

"...there is always someone to help you out in Housing 21 and I’m very proud to be a part of the organisation.”

Loraine and her husband

“I also care for my husband. In July 2014 we went on a family holiday to Menorca, he wasn’t very well on the plane and was quite breathless, but he can be a bit of a drama queen so we brushed it off. That did not work out well! On the second day of the holiday he was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with COPD and pleurisy. This has left him with very weak lungs, so we have to monitor him regularly. The condition is a bit like dementia in the sense that it has affected his short term memory, so I manage his medication.

When everything happened I had fantastic support from my managers, they really helped me get through a terrible situation and were understanding, not rushing me back to work. One of my colleagues also gave me information about claiming benefits which I’ve been able to do for my mum and husband - there is always someone to help you out in Housing 21 and I’m very proud to be a part of the organisation.”

Rosemarie - Extra Care Manager

Rosemarie and her mum“Along with my sister, I care for my mum who has dementia. I’m a mobile worker and flexible working means I can fit work in together with visits, doing shopping, and taking Mum to hospital appointments and emergencies, which has been especially important in the recent weeks when lockdown has left her confused and sometimes distressed.”

Click here for information about working for Housing 21.


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