COVID-19: Care In The Community – RCT Council
Written by Gavin on 19th May 2020
Caring for the elderly and vulnerable in their own homes and allowing them to live independently remains a vital priority for the Council during this difficult time.
The Council is working closely with its commissioned independent home care providers to ensure we continue to visit homes across RCT daily to support the care needs of our most vulnerable people by helping them to continue to live at home safely, seven days-a-week throughout the coronavirus national emergency.
These residents, many of whom live alone, rely totally on the care that is provided to them by the Council, and for the staff who provide the care, it is far more than just a job.
Wearing their PPE, home care workers continue to enter people’s homes each day, spending valuable time with them and taking care of their individual needs, even during these unprecedented times.
Many of the home care staff are carrying out their duties whilst also caring for their own families. Among them is Kay Roberts, of Ferndale, who works for Care Cymru and sadly lost her own father due to illness just a few weeks ago.
Kay said: “I love my job as a Carer. It’s nice to know that I am helping so many people and making their lives a little bit easier at such a difficult time for them all.
“Many are aware of the COVID-19 situation but some are not. It’s my job to reassure them, to care for their personal needs, help make them comfortable within their own homes, and be there for them.
“I sadly lost my own father recently due to an illness not linked to COVID-19. It has been heart-breaking and a very traumatic time for myself and my family, not made any easier by the nation-wide emergency we all find ourselves dealing with.”
Following her close family bereavement, Kay returned to work after just a few days as she wanted to be back caring in the community at a time when supporting each other is so important. Kay’s daily routine starts when the alarm clock sounds at 5am and she makes her first home visit by 6.30am.
“Some of the people I visit also have family support, but others have nobody they can turn to or rely on. This is why I was keen to return to work after the loss of my own father.” Kay added.
“I am grateful for the support of my own family. They are worried that I am going into people’s homes, but we do have full PPE so we are all protected and as safe as we can be.”
Lorraine Tanner, 55, of Penygraig, has been a home carer with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Support @Home Service for 24 years.
Lorraine, a mother-of-two, said: “Caring is far more than a job to me. Over the years I have helped thousands of people to live independently in their home, with some having no other care except for us.
“Our roles vary from house to house, some we help with their personal care needs, some need assistance to dress – I even visit one home where the individual, who is registered blind, sings to me every day.
“These people become an extended family and I am, of course, very concerned about them at the moment, but my colleagues and I continue to do all we can to make life a little bit easier for them.
“It brings them great comfort to know we are there for them, not just through this terrible time, but all year around.”
Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services & the Welsh Language, said: “Home carers provide a vital service to our elderly and vulnerable, who continue to live independently in their own homes.
“Working with partner agencies and organisations, the Council remains committed to providing them with vital care packages, even during these extraordinary times, and supporting people to live as independently as possible in their own homes is a priority.
“All key frontline social care workers continue to provide an excellent service, and I pay tribute to each and every one of them for doing a brilliant job on a daily basis.”
“The Council, in partnership with its Independent Care Providers, remain committed”