Next up in our Care For Carers blog series are the lovely Sophie and Mario Georgiou.
Sophie has helped care for her brother Mario all her life, as he was born with brain damage to the left-hand side of his brain. Mario lived with his family and was cared for by them full time until, in 2019, it became impossible for them to manage any longer. Now, because of their parent’s age and Mario’s increased needs, he lives in a care home nearby.
We spoke to Sophie, who explained how the pandemic and the consequences of the Coronavirus Act have made life extremely difficult for both her and Mario.
“I got my brother to be closer to home, he’s now in a care home which is only two minutes away from his family home which is lovely. And before Covid he would come home every week and we’d take him out, but since lockdown he’s been stuck inside this care home…
He hasn’t been able to visit us, he isn’t able to go out anywhere and I definitely think he’s really suffered from that. We’ve been able to visit him but it’s taken a lot of me contacting them to make it happen.”
There have been other consequences of the pandemic too.
“Mario can’t talk and was born without speech, so I am trying to fight for him to get a talking computer, because I know that’s why he gets frustrated a lot. He can’t talk and say what he wants to say.
He can walk, but he is mainly in a wheelchair now. I’m now pushing for him to have physio to get him walking a bit more because it’s unfair for him to be stuck in a wheelchair all the time. But it’s a struggle to get things moving because Covid is putting everything on a back log now.”
Sophie explained how hard it has been for Mario being stuck inside, and for her not visiting him.
“I understood that I couldn’t come and see Mario inside, but I asked if they [the care home] could bring Mario outside where I would be two meters from him, because I want to see how my brother is doing.
When they started taking him on a walk outside even just up the road, I noticed a change in my brother and he’s so much happier, it’s all those little things that make such a difference. I think it’s the same for anyone though, if you were locked in your room watching TV all day and all night it would drive you mental.”
When asked what Revitalise means to her and Mario, Sophie said:
“Revitalise is just a breath of fresh air, you go there, and the setting is lovely. It’s like being in a 5* hotel, you get such good care attention, you get taken out and it’s all those things that I feel like my brother has had taken away.
He’s always happy and smiling and he lets you know when he’s not. He’s a great personality and when he stayed at Jubilee Lodge last year, he really loved it there. The staff are so good and I saw his mental health improve. It would be my dream to have him stay there all the time.”
Stories like Sophie and Mario’s are equally heart-breaking and inspiring, and they are exactly the reason we started our Care For Carers campaign. We know that, with your help and support, we can raise awareness of the hidden consequences of the Coronavirus Act, and help carers and their loved ones get the break they deserve by raising £1 million.
If you would like to find out more, and donate to help people like Sophie and Mario, click here.