Derbyshire hospice shines a light on carers who are going above and beyond during the coronavirus lockdown

Treetops Hospice Care is highlighting the struggles that unpaid carers are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 12th June 2020, 3:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 12:13 pm

Treetops, based in Risley, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, as well as their loved ones, but has been forced to temporarily close its Wellbeing Space to patients meaning more pressure has been put on carers.

Julie Burdon, 63, from Stapleford, is a full time carer for her husband. Mike, 77, was diagnosed with an inoperable cerebral aneurysm in 2018.

Mike used to go to Treetops twice a week before the lockdown.

Mike and Julie Burdon

Julie said: “Life has been very strange, and at times difficult, over the last ten weeks.

“We had just got into a little routine of occasionally meeting friends for coffee, or having little trips out. Unfortunately all this had to stop, as did having visitors.

“I think it is more difficult for me than Mike, although I know he really misses his days out at Treetops.

“For me, life has stopped. If it wasn’t for our daily carers I wouldn’t see anyone.

“I am lucky though as our children ring regularly.

“Treetops have rung every week to see how we are, and often pop over and leave a package of surprises for us, which is lovely, but we both really miss not being able to visit.

“We both hope that sooner rather than later we can all get back together again.

“We also receive support from Nottingham Hospice who have been coming during the night to change and move Mike.

“It has meant I can get a decent night’s sleep and they have also done respite sits so I can get out for a few hours and clear my head.”

Alison Hembrow, Treetops wellbeing, support and information manager, explained that many people simply don’t recognise themselves as carers, so they don’t always know what support is available to them.

She said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, an additional 4.5million people are caring for sick, older or disabled loved ones, behind closed doors.

“Carers are feeling especially isolated as their loved ones are having to shield at home and many of their normal support groups or respite services, such as those we offer here at Treetops, have had to close.”

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