Hertswise on BBC Radio 2

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With thanks to the wonderful Anne-Marie, Hertswise Staff Member, Hertswise, Age UK Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Mind where given a shout out on BBC Radio 2 by Phil Williams. She spoke about who Hertswise are and how they adapted since COVID-19.

To listen, click on the following link and hear the clip from 34.44: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000jhb7

How my life has changed since lockdown

Since Boris Johnson announced lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020, the lives of my husband and I have changed dramatically.

As we are both over the age of 70 and my husband has dementia, we were classed as vulnerable and had to isolate from our friends and family. Isolation has been difficult, and even more so because I am carer and have not been able to receive any physical help with the care of my husband.

Independence for my husband is nearly non-existent. I have to do most things for him like helping him out of bed, getting him dressed and helping him at meal times. With the amount of support I have to give him, it seemed an impossible task for me to go to the supermarket with him and join three queues before I’ve even entered the building.

Due to this during the first week I ordered my food online and it arrived quickly and it was super easy. I was like a little child when we finally were able to have a full food shop in our house. Since that first week It has been impossible to gain a food delivery slot from any supermarket, and I learnt that carer’s have not be given ‘first slot delivery’,  I feel as if ‘we as carers have slipped through the net’.

Luckily, I have had tremendous help from different Hertfordshire organisations such as, Age UK Hertfordshire, Hertswise, Crossroads and Nightingale. I can’t fault any of them, especially Hertswise who I would give 101/100 for the support they have given me.

The team have bent over backwards helping me in any way they can. I have especially been grateful for the calls I have been receiving from Vicky, who has been calling me every week without fail – I love the chats we have!

Since my husband and I have been unable to go to our usual Dementia Hubs, we have been receiving ‘Activity Boxes’ from Open Art Box. Each week we have had a delivery of different activities such as embellishing tiles, creating our own bunting for VE Day and crafting together mobiles.

We have been very lucky with the amount of support we have been given since lockdown, I can’t thank Hertswise and Age UK Hertfordshire enough for what they have done.

Lynne, 73 years old

Client Thank you’s

“I thought I would just re-establish contact to convey my sincere thanks to Sam our Hub Co-ordinator for kindness and support to the hub members during the unprecedented time of lock down. Please pass on my sincere gratitude to Sam and I hope that at some stage, when safe, the hub will resume. I do not think for one moment any members have taken it for granted but without respite like our hub life has been extremely challenging.”

Community Hub Attendee

Since lockdown we have had to suspend all of our hubs, but since we have been able to have them over zoom, the comments we have received has been delightful!

“Just like to say the sessions online provided by Hollie are excellent. It’s been a very difficult time for my mum not being able to attend the sessions. Hollie always provided such stimulating activities geared to each type of dementia need, therefore engaging everyone, this has continued with the online sessions, the content is amazing and again she engages everyone making it totally inclusive.”

– Daughter of client

“Thanks so much for a lovely session today. Thanks to both Tara and Sam who have provided wonderful support.”

– Young Onset Dementia Client

“These zoom sessions are something to look forward to at the end of each week, you are doing a great job!”

– Young Onset Dementia Client