The Power of a One-to-One Connection During a PandemicThe Power of a One-to-One Connection During a Pandemic
The Covid-19 virus is indiscriminate. Since the first UK cases in early 2020, the virus has spread rapidly across the population and has proved to be particularly dangerous for older people with already weakened and frail immune systems, causing many untimely deaths.
As a nation, we are isolating in the hope that by Easter we will have the chance to be surrounded by our families again. We stay apart right now so that we have a chance to get the most vulnerable vaccinated. Since it appears that the only way of not getting infected is to maintain distance and stay physically apart, national lockdowns and tier systems, at various points of the pandemic, have been chosen as the method to combat the spread of the disease.
Nowadays, when physical protective barriers like PPE and plexiglass screens, replace hugs and handholding, it is more important than ever to stay connected and maintain social contact in other forms and means. During the lockdown, many older people lose the very essence of what they need to thrive – the connection with people. It is especially hard for people living with Dementia. Long periods of self-isolation can accelerate the devastating memory loss associated with the condition, and many of the relatives who are unable to visit their loved ones at this time, see only a shell of their former loved one upon being reunited.
Live-in care, by its nature, helps to physically anchor older people into their own safe and familiar homes with a care worker as a companion. A live-in carer moves in with the client, to support them with day-to-day activities and forms a professional but compassionate relationship which often develops into a long-lasting friendship. In this time of uncertainty in care homes, where family members are separated from their loved ones, live-in care offers an even more attractive alternative. Once the carer is embedded within the client’s home, following the initial period of isolation, they are free to do everything a family member would do, ie, provide emotional support and have that physical connection.
Self-isolation with a live-in carer enables vulnerable people to be cocooned – in a safe place at home. With live-in care, there are fewer people in the equation with one carer looking after one client in their own home, as opposed to many people in a care home environment. In consequence, the client is protected in a physical bubble, with support from a fully trained care professional who looks after their physical and mental wellbeing. Carers and clients are matched based on mutual interests, lifestyles and personalities so that they can form close bonds from the outset and build a harmonious relationship.
Agata Kędzierska-Łoza is a care worker at Promedica24, Europe’s largest live-in care provider. As an excellent professional with an empathetic and understanding demeanour, Agata puts her heart and soul into her work with clients and sees her role not to be simply a carer, but also a good companion.
A live-in carer role has its challenges, but Agata’s uses her great sense of humour and ability to problem solve as her guide. As she says, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
During the first lockdown earlier this year, Agata applied her philosophy and went above and beyond to create connections with her clients in an intense time of isolation. She provided emotional support to a client by creating a beautiful garden in the community for all residents of the complex she worked in to meet and relax together whilst observing social distancing.
Her approach to person-centred care and ability to regale her audience with stories are second-to-none as she puts her whole heart into her work and her clients can feel this. Importantly, Agata takes time to find out about their likes and dislikes, and builds relationships based on trust, respect, and dignity. Using her natural ability to encourage and motivate, she champions and supports clients to rebuild their self-confidence by taking up hobbies and doing things they love.
Agata also organised the birthday party of one of her clients, who loved telling stories about the end of the Second World War, so she downloaded songs from the time and played them at the VE day celebration. On another occasion, Agata offered to do her client’s hair. Once she finished, the client was so delighted that she cancelled her hairdresser’s appointments immediately.
Always striving to ensure the highest possible levels of care are maintained, her professionalism always shines through. She reflects the absolute best of Promedica24’s values: being caring, adopting a positive approach, being responsive and striving for excellence.
Having a care worker like Agata, who is so passionate about connecting with clients enables Promedica24 to assert how live-in care can emerge as an effective solution to social care during the pandemic which seeks to divide. With live-in care, one-to-one connection thrives despite living in an age where the sole focus is on keeping people apart.
By Donna Richardson
Promedica24 is Europe’s largest provider of live-in care services. It supports older and vulnerable people by providing highly trained and carefully selected caring staff.
The company can take on new clients with relatively short notice and provide care solutions tailored to the specific client’s needs in any location in England, including rural areas. Promedica24’s carers are experienced in a range of chronic conditions including cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, arthritis and diabetes.