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Thinking about the experience of older vulnerable people.

Vulnerable older people have been particularly affected by the pandemic. Tim Darlington offers some explanation of why this might be.

Towards the end of Week 2 you read Tim Dartington’s ideas about the heroic and the stoical, about independence and dependence (you can revisit the article here). Let’s now explore how these ideas may connect with the experience of living in a care home during the pandemic.

The following is an excerpt from a BBC video interview* with a resident of a Scottish care home. The interview is taking place over video-call due to social distancing rules, but the interviewer is just outside the care home so can also see and wave to the resident:

Interviewer: How are you finding life in the care home at the moment?

Resident: Well of course we’re worried about people outside and we’re thinking about the NHS and we’re thinking of all the helpers that come in here day by day to look after us. On the other hand we’re kept very well amused, we do yoga and we sing a bit, and we paint and make rugs, we do all sorts of things, there’s never a dull moment really (laughs).

Interviewer: Do you watch much of the news? How worried about Coronavirus are you?

Resident: We’re very worried. I think to begin with it was all rather remote and then suddenly I got a phone call from friends in London to say that really a great friend had died in hospital and that certainly brought it back to me. And we are worried about people outside, very worried.

Interviewer: Is it difficult not being able to see family?

Resident: Of course it is, but we can phone them and we keep in touch very well. I make about six phone calls every evening.

Interviewer: Well, thank you so much for speaking to us I wonder if you look up just now I can give you a wave through the window.

The interview ends as they wave at one another through the window.

Record or share your thoughts and ideas about what has happened to many vulnerable older people since lockdown began and why this might be.

*Full video not available in all countries

© BBC © Tavistock & Portman NHS FT
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