Care for Carers: “It’s a combination of his physical and mental health just being completely ignored.”
This blog comes to you on the first day of the UK’s second national lockdown. We wanted to share the words of Lynne Pender, who cares for her son Jonathan, now 46, and has done ever since she gave birth to him.
Lynne and Jonathan are both so frustrated with the Government not making clear decisions and feel that both their mental, and physical health, is being ignored. At a time when Lynne had hoped things would start to get better, she must now work her way through a further 4 weeks of isolation.
Introducing Lynne’s son, Jonathan
Jonathan has been coming on holiday with us to Revitalise Netley Waterside house since he was a teenager. As a regular guest, we love welcoming Jonathan on his breaks to give him and Lynne the rest they need and deserve. Jonathan needs support 24 hours a day. His routine is the same day in, day out, and Lynne is finding caring for Jonathan more difficult now that she is in her 70’s.
The physical and mental impact
Lynne takes care of all of Jonathan’s finances and paperwork and has done since he moved into sheltered accommodation 15 years ago. Before lockdown, Jonathan would be home every weekend and so Lynne would take care of all his physical needs too.
“It’s more traumatic because you’re permanently having to think ahead to make sure everything is all done… (and) while it’s been lockdown, it’s been a nightmare because he hasn’t been allowed out.
“Jonathan has hated it which he tends to take out on me and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.”
Changes to their routine throughout lockdown
Jonathan hasn’t been home since March, so when Lynne makes the trip to see him, it is a 4-hour roundtrip; and with the days getting colder these journeys are going to be much harder.
“Just because Jonathan has a physical disability it doesn’t mean that he’s any more at risk than you or I am quite frankly; it’s just that his legs don’t work very well.
“That’s the frustration and everyone is terrified of saying ‘oh yes you can go out’. But nobody will make any decisions or take responsibility.”
Taking a break with Revitalise this year
We asked Lynne what it would mean to Jonathan if he were able to take a break at Revitalise right now and she said,
“He loves it. The staff know him well and he just loves it.”
If you can relate to Lynne & Jonathan, we’d love to hear your story of lockdown and beyond. You can tell us through a short story, poem or audio recording as part of our Revitalise500 Writing Competition here. Or if you would like to help support people like Lynne & Jonathan, you can donate to our Raise a Million fundraising campaign here. Please give if you can.