Caring during the crisis

by Saeema Yusuf, GRoW Team Member

Last week people across the UK took time to “clap for carers”. Whether you think it was a real moment of appreciation or a meaningless gesture, it has at least highlighted the roles of carers during the Coronavirus crisis.

For some, the crisis has thrown them into caring for the first time, as they help keep things going for vulnerable friends and relatives. But for me and many others, we are already carers, trying to build our careers, now faced with caring during the crisis.

So I’ve been thinking about how to combine a career with GROW, caring and COVID-19. As well as being a mum to four young children.

  1. Keeping care going. In my case, the local authority has withdrawn its adult care service because of (you guessed it) Coronavirus. This was the last thing I needed! If you are affected by this situation, reach out to social services, family members, people you trust to make sure you can put an alternative in place – now is not the time to be shy of asking for help. Whether you have a personal care role or there are care arrangements in place, the aim is to keep care going.
  2. Do what you can, when you can. I’ve been thinking about how to give my relative the same quality of care and variety of experience he has been getting at adult day care. But that’s not realistic – even with the help of other family members. I’m concentrating on doing what I can when I can, making sure he knows why things have changed, and what we can do for him.
  3. Caring is also work. Negotiating with social services, keeping family members informed, planning your time, establishing goals, dealing with uncertainty – these are all things we do when we are caring, especially when caring is interrupted, as with Coronavirus. And these are all work skills we can use in our work and use to develop ourselves in our working careers.
  4. Time for myself. Even with these new demands, I try to make time to do things that I enjoy and to relax with my family.

Most of all, I’m trying to be flexible and take things as they come. The Coronavirus crisis is changing day by day, and caring and working through the crisis needs me to be as adaptable as possible, as well.

GROW is a rewarding programme to come on to and i’m glad i took the chance to come on board. It’s been amazing not only taking part in the GROW Programme but working for Grow there’s been lots of opportunities to come.


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