Loraine's blog - being a carer
- Loraine is Director (Progress Lifeline)
In 2018, I stepped into a caring and supporting role for my parents.
My Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy, and at about the same time, my Mum received a diagnosis of dementia.
Previously, visits to my parents had been once or twice a month, as well as chats over the phone, meals out, etc.; this changed almost overnight. Following their diagnosis, I saw my parents up to three times a week, increasing to visiting most days. The visits were for food shopping, helping with household chores, and emotional support.
On top of this, I was balancing my own home life and working full-time. Whilst this change to my circumstances was personally challenging, I am fortunate to work for Progress Housing Group, an organisation that is supportive and could offer help.
Dad became increasingly unwell during his chemotherapy treatment, and he agreed for a Progress Lifeline unit and pendant to be installed so an alert could be raised in an emergency. We also added additional environmental sensors to give extra safety support. Mum’s dementia impacted her understanding of day and night, and her routine was affected with Dad in hospital. She would often leave the house to walk the dog in the early hours and had a fall on more than one occasion.
The sense of responsibility I felt was immense. Still, the Progress Lifeline service proved invaluable when my Dad’s blood pressure was extremely low on one occasion, resulting in him falling out of bed. We constantly reminded Mum to press the red button if she needed help; on this occasion, she did, thankfully. Help arrived quickly, and the paramedics were already treating Dad when I got there.
My Dad’s terminal cancer travelled throughout his body, and he died in October 2019 of brain cancer.
Since October 2019, I have increased the support for my Mum, who has deteriorated significantly. Due to the pandemic, my Mum was shielding in her own home, and all the care packages and support I had initially put in place were unfortunately reduced or stopped while the care organisations sought PPE. In turn, I had to reduce my own outside contact to minimise exposure to the virus - because if I had to isolate it would have resulted in Mum having no support at all, as I would not have been able to visit and help her safely.
Like many people's circumstances during the pandemic, things had to change. Her food shopping trips stopped, and access to other support services was on hold.
As Mum’s dementia worsened, the telecare support from Progress Lifeline increased to keep her safe, and thankfully the carers were soon able to attend again. I appreciated the support remote sensors gave me when the (Progress Lifeline) Alarm Response Centre would call to say there had been an activation.
The technology and alarm/sensor monitoring service available 24/7, 365 days a year from Progress Lifeline offers reassurance you may not fully appreciate until you are in a caring role as a family member. The peace of mind was very comforting, and I will forever be grateful for the excellent service my family and I received.
About Progress Lifeline
Progress Lifeline recognises and respects everyone who is carrying out the role of being a carer and know that this can be a tough and lonely job. They can provide support and assistance through their personal alarms, sensors and emergency response services.
View Progress Lifeline's telecare equipment for the home to help support carers by clicking here to visit the Progress Lifeline website.
Carers Network for Progress Housing Group employees
Progress Housing Group is proud to have an employee-led Carers Network. Carers Together is a network of Progress Housing Group colleagues offering informal peer support.
Find out more about our employee-led network groups for our colleagues by clicking here to visit the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Network page on our website.