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Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Christine

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Christine, who works for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown

My name is Christine and I live alone. I had to go into lockdown in March as I met all the criteria for self- isolation.

At first I thought that this would just be for a couple of weeks and that then we would go back to normal.

I had done enough shopping to ensure that I had sufficient food for a few weeks and felt positive, enjoying the lovely weather. Now, three months later, I have had to rely on friends to do shopping for me. This has made me realise how difficult it is for people to have to rely on others to support them. The telephone has been a life saver as many cousins I only see perhaps once a year have been telephoning me regularly to check if I am alright.

During lockdown, I have been fortunate to be able to make telephone calls to Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale clients – to provide reassurance and social contact. In doing this, I’ve found that so many clients are experiencing anxiety and depression about their situation. It has also been good for me to speak to clients who are in need as this has given me a real sense of purpose – I set my alarm each night, get up, dressed and put on a little lipstick on. I’ve now had the opportunity to really empathise with clients who live alone.

It’s fine for a while but not to have family or friends popping in over an extended period is very difficult. I can understand how easy it is to become anxious and depressed.

I am a carer for a member of my family and understand how difficult this has been for so many carers in lockdown. One of my clients has a grandson who has a disability and feels so helpless that she has been unable to support her daughter and worries about her delivering shopping to her. I suggested arranging home deliveries with one of the supermarkets and she is now doing this. It has also been satisfying to signpost clients to other alternatives for shopping and other organisations that can support them.

From my own point of view I have been fortunate to be able to work from home and this has kept me going. I have been able to maintain contact with colleagues, my Team Leader and the Community Resource Team.

I realise things are going to be very different when lockdown eases but the experience makes me very grateful for the life we were privileged to have before Covid and to hopefully appreciate what comes in the future.

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