Working and caring in lockdown

What impact has lockdown working had on older people? We speak to one carer.



What is working and caring in lockdown like for older people? We asked a number of older workers what it had been like for them. Here Janine Williams**, a part-time student support officer, told us what the impact had been on her.

Janine works in an FE College and also has caring responsibilities for her elderly mother and another relative, such as shopping duties.

She has been working from home since we went into lockdown, but has to go back to work later this month. She has not worked from home before and says her employer has been supportive.

She says it has been hard balancing her caring responsibilities and work as she has to shop for both relatives and deliver to two different locations. Her partner does help occasionally, but is working full time.

She is very concerned about going back to work and has put in place adult social care for her elderly relative, which he has cancelled. She says she has some help from a sibling who lives at a distance, but that her caring responsibilities generally restrict her personal freedom.

In the main, Janine thinks lockdown has been positive for her work-wise.  “I like working from home and I have good contact with my team via technology.  I work more efficiently due to the lack of interruptions from colleagues and I enjoy not having to commute,” she says. “I don’t really miss the work environment apart from social contact with some colleagues. Management arranges regular online meetings attended by all staff. I have space and privacy at home which makes this an easier option.”

However, she admits that one drawback is the lack of social contact with certain colleagues.

Janine would like to see a long-term reappraisal of working from home as an alternative method of working alongside proper resourcing, such as the loan of a work laptop and work mobile phone.

*What has your experience of working in lockdown been? Email [email protected].

**not her real name.

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