Don't Tone Alone CIC continues to provide solutions to those who need support the most.
By Rebekah Daunt
"Isolation is the key challenge of lockdown" says Lisa who discovered Don't Tone Alone CIC through a newsletter provided by Barnet Carer's Centre.
Like Lisa, many carers have been left feeling low, depressed and isolated as a result of Covid-19 which has not only intensified the demand on carers but has also diminished support systems that were once in place for their physical and mental wellbeing.
"The pandemic and lockdown has had a very negative impact on my life" says the full time carer, "during the lockdown I have become very nervous about catching the virus as I have the responsibility of caring for others who would not manage without me".
Lisa has ongoing mobility issues and experiences chronic pain, stiffness and fatigue as a sufferer of hypermobility syndrome. Despite these hardships Lisa supported two adults from separate households and spent her limited free time travelling to and from her own appointments before lockdown commenced.
"I would have normally seen a private physiotherapist to help treat and control my symptoms but again, due to Covid-19 these regular sessions have stopped I am only able to see them if urgent." says Lisa.
Due to time constraints many carers feel forced to sideline their own physical and mental needs in order to make more time for those they support. Lisa found it difficult to make time for regular meals, which led to snacking and subsequently weight gain, a loss in motivation, and depression.
Lisa was in severe pain and suffered from sleep deprivation before joining Don't Tone Alone CIC. Lisa's mobility issues also placed limitations on the types of exercises she could practice safely, "I had a free swimming card from the carer's centre but due to the lockdown, I was unable to swim which worsened my physical state".
Undeterred by these setbacks, Lisa decided to focus on her diet and eating habits one week before joining Don't Tone Alone CIC's Fit By Phone Programme but was unsure of where to start. Upon joining the Fit By Phone programme Lisa found the information she needed to implement positive change through the weight management coaching and exercise classes.
"Don't Tone Alone came at exactly the right time" says Lisa, "the weight management sessions have been my favourite aspect of the course as this has mostly enabled me to change my lifestyle and gave me the opportunity to get expert advice on how to manage such changes".
For the purposes of confidentiality, Lisa is a pseudoname and is used to protect the identity of the unpaid carer interviewed.