As we reflect on the first 100 days of Lockdown, I’d like to mention three of the lovely people I’m linked with via the Butterfly Scheme. Here are glimpses into each of their worlds during this time.
Let’s start with Maria, a most wonderful hospital matron and a powerhouse of fabulous care delivery, including being a leading light in Butterfly Scheme provision. She and her team always go the extra mile (or ten!) and this week they popped up on the BBC, having enabled a long-married couple receiving intensive treatment for Covid19 to celebrate a special event together. Even a cake was provided by the staff – but it was the devoted care, compassion, understanding and support of the whole team that really made the difference. It simply wouldn’t occur to that team not to offer totally person-centred care, even in the most extreme of situations. Fabulous!
Then there was a poignant Tweet from Karen, a superb hospital Dementia Lead. At long last having a much-needed day off, she posted a photo of herself in the countryside and said, “Aah, hello annual leave … I missed you”. No moaning, no feeling sorry for herself – just an appreciation of finally being able to take some time out. It was also interesting to see the responses from her colleagues, all of whom clearly hold her in high regard, as well as clear affection.
The third perspective came from a carer friend, Suzy, who’s been fully caring for her mum herself during this time, instead of having the usual carer team coming in to help. The decision to take over all care came not only because of the pressure on carer teams, but out of a desire to minimise the risk of infection to her vulnerable and much-loved mum, who has long lived with dementia. Yesterday, she simply said, with a big smile, “I’ve been to my first shop in 100 days”. It would be all too easy to imagine that she’s breezed through the three months without any problem, but as a former carer myself I know that won’t be the case. If you can offer even the tiniest gesture of kindness, appreciation and support to a carer of someone with dementia right now, please do so; it’ll mean so much.
We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic and the last three months have been tough for many, but I just wanted to pay tribute to these three special people. They – and others in similar situations – have had it tougher than most, yet one thing they have in common is celebrating the positives. Where would we all be without them?