“I thought i was going to chill but no chance…”

As promised, here is the second installment of Abdi and Karen’s Lockdown Journey!

Abdi:

“I suddenly realised that I would really miss Wheelchair football and Boccia that I went to every week that I now couldn’t go to.

I was about to go back for some more sessions on the CAREN at BASIC but Corona came and stopped it.

School sent me some work to do online but that felt weird and I missed being with my friends, especially my best friend Brandon.

It felt good not good not getting OT and physio with Karen and Andy. I thought I was going to chill but no chance when they both came back through the screen – it made me feel like I wasn’t getting to do what I wanted – no rest for me!

Karen talked about buying some games and activities for me to have at home which I was glad about.”

Karen:

“So, as a company passionate about the work we do, we immediately started to problem solve how we could continue to engage with our clients now that we were not able to visit them at home. We had lots of team meetings and peer support sessions to establish how to still get into people’s homes remotely. It was a VERY steep learning curve for most of us! I had occasionally used Skype in the past but apart from that “Zoom” and “Teams” were a foreign words! However they are now part of our everyday language along with Furlough, Bubbles, Shielding, Social Distancing – amazing how quickly we accept things as “normal”

Abdi has a support worker who works with him for a few hours a day. Andy, Abdi’s physio and I spent some time reviewing the information and programmes that had been put together in the past. Like so many support worker, this was time to step up to the mark and become the therapists hands!

The technology Abdi had available to him was limited to an iPad and his support worker’s phone.

We started using WhatsApp on his support worker’s phone and by the 7th April, just 2 weeks into Lockdown, we were up and running; if not a little shaky as the support worker tried to prop the phone and follow the instructions given – but it worked.

I spent lots of time trying to figure out how I could carry on and use the activities I frequently used to work on Abdi’s cognitive difficulties. My creative OT brain was in overdrive! Connect 4 was a favourite, so I set up my game with coloured tags at the top of each column so Abdi could direct me where to place the counters – it worked so well. Playing UNO remotely was interesting too! We had a pack of cards each!

Abdi doesn’t have any games or activities at home, so we talked about what he would like – Marble Run, Geomag, card games, connect 4 amongst other were ordered. We could then use these activities in his sessions or he could use that at other times during the week – he was going to have a LOT of time to fill”