‘We lost 11 residents to Covid’ - care worker on life in one home
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Care homes were badly hit in the first wave of coronavirus and are now facing more challenges as the second peak hits.
One worker at a Norfolk home, which lost 11 residents, describes the toll it has taken.
Last month we were asked by the company about our mental health and we all said we felt rubbish.
We feel tired and worn out and we all feel we need more support.
There is no-one for us to call, like a company mental health helpline.
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We can’t go and see families or friends in case we give it to them.
In the first lockdown we had 11 deaths. Our manager got us through it - we got through it because we had each other.
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If our manager had not been so amazing, half of us wouldn’t still be working here.
Residents have found it hard but a lot have dementia so they don’t really understand and communicating with them is hard.
We do lots to keep them entertained with karaoke and afternoon tea, but it is just upsetting that the company doesn’t realise how much we are struggling.
One of our staff was in a coma and another’s son was in intensive care in the first wave.
It was never publicised that we lost 11 residents. We were warned not to tell anybody. Some staff never even told their partners or families.
It has been really tough for us as a care home but we all carry on.
In our home no one has tested positive this time round but if someone does test positive, we are not told.
We all get tested weekly, so you have your results, but you carry on if someone else is positive as you have your PPE and they say that is OK.
It has been really hard for staff because we read things in the papers which blame us for spreading Covid in homes.
I want people to know what it is actually like. Even though homes are locked down, there are still people from the company coming into the home, like regional managers, trainers and handymen.
They go from home to home so we worry they could spread it, even though there is regular testing. It doesn’t make any sense.