Chloe Johnson is a team leader at a Care UK care home in Stratford upon Avon. She believes that without the company of her mare, Liquorice, she would be in a terrible place both mentally and physically.
“During the worst of the pandemic, my depression and anxiety spiralled. I was isolated from my family, working long hours, losing residents and, on top of it all, trying to sort out time to care for my horse”
“I care for residential, nursing and dementia residents. My job includes running the shift, and making sure staff get their breaks and know what needs to be done during the shift.
I carry out medication rounds, which involves to other health professionals about residents.
I also make sure paperwork is completed and our care plan/risk assessments are up to date.
Most importantly, I assist residents with their hygiene, physical and mental well being needs.
I have been working at the home for five years now and I hope that there are many more years to come. My role have become more stressful, demanding, exhausting and mentally draining as a result of the pandemic.
As well as completing normal daily tasks, I have to care for extremely ill residents and support their family members, as well as my colleagues. The is while being constricted by PPE and trying not to let my own worries show.
I constantly think about PPE, washing hands, cleaning surfaces and weekly Covid testing. It’s a lot to think about on a daily basis.
The hardest thing I have had to deal with is seeing residents who are extremely ill and all we can do is keep them comfortable and pain free, as there is no medication or cure for this virus that we can give.
Updating family members on how their loved one is doing, but telling them they can’t come and see their loved ones, is heartbreaking and my mental health has suffered. I am also terrified that I am going to bring Covid home to my family.
During the worst of the pandemic, my depression and anxiety spiralled. I was isolated from my family, working long hours, losing residents and, on top of it all, trying to sort out time to care for my horse.
I am very lucky that none of my family have been affected by Covid
‘My saving grace’
I was due to get married in July 2020 and then July 2021, but they have both been cancelled. This heartbreak also hasn’t helped me mentally.
At the start of the pandemic, my horse, Liquorice, was on DIY livery. I had to manage my time at the yard so that I was limiting my time around people. It was hard due to the hours I work.
I needed to take some pressure off, and so Liquorice moved yards and is now on part livery. It helps that I can go home to rest after a tough day and know she is well looked after.
Liquorice is an eight-year-old gypsy cob mare and I have owned her for six years. She has been my saving grace during this pandemic. If it wasn’t for her, I’d be in a worse place mentally and physically.
I most likely would not have coped without her, as she is my escape for the outside world. I have continued to ride and work on my confidence issues. This has helped focus my mind on something other than work. Liquorice listens to my worries, fears, hopes and goals for the future. Just sitting in her stable instantly calms and relaxes me.