Covid vaccination

Good sunny morning all

I’m a 24/7 sole carer for my 93 year old mum who is housebound. Mum got her call for the vaccination to be done at home and I asked if I could have mine too at the same time as I’m her sole carer. I was told no; that I would get mine a week later at a centre some 5 miles away (my surgery is a short walk across the road and a chemist the same distance away). I explained I couldn’t leave mum for more than 30 mins max; had nobody else to babsit; and could I get it done at the surgery / chemist so I can get out; sit for 15 minutes; rather than have to drive to the centre; wait there and probably not be back for over an hour. I was told no and told to ‘get someone to stay with her’.

I fully appreciate things are a little fraught at the moment, especially with us in the London area, but this really isn’t acceptable for unpaid, full time carers who have no family to step in when needed. Our friends are also of the same age and have their own families to consider and every person who comes through the door is a potential threat to myself and my mum.

I really don’t mind waiting a bit longer as I know there are more worthy recipients ahead of me, but to immediately dismiss it, and with such bad grace, is just stupid, especially when I give 2 alternative solutions which are in the best interests of a 93 year old who only has me to look after her and is prone to thinking she can still walk and in my absence will eventually start trying to find me or be desperate for the loo.

The general feeling I get throughout is that we are unacceptable nuisances as mum is disabled (shock horror at 93!) and I am so utterly ridiculous as to want to look after her in the final years of her life and make her as happy, safe and comfortable as I can. This does nothing for the ‘compliance’ of the nation if we are hitting brick walls when we are willing to have a vaccine and trying to arrange this.

Hi and welcome Swaneldo

Very well put regarding the ‘general feeling throughout’ about being ‘unacceptable nuisances’ - I’m with you all the way. You, the carer, the patient or the client even, are not permitted to have an opinion most of the time, if at all. And attitude is a real issue with many of these professionals.

My mum’s 92 and hasn’t been offered her vaccination yet. With her Alzheimer’s and heart problems, I’m beginning to worry a bit.

Good luck with things, David

Hello, Swaneldo. Putting aside for a moment the question of your vaccination, and considering that you care 24/7 and cannot leave the house for more than half an hour, it does seem to me that you need some sort of back up. What would happen if you were to take ill and become unable to care, needing care yourself?

Round where I live, there is a trust that provides temporary care for emergency situations like this. I have registered, and though we have never had to call on its services so far, it is good to know it is there if required. There are also organisations that provide respite care for various circumstances - even carers requiring a break.

You could do well to ask your medical practice about the various types of services available in your area providing care on an occasional basis. Or visit and search for respite care in your part of London.

This won’t solve the more-immediate question of your own vaccination. If you have a friend willing to sit in for half an hour, I suggest you accept the kind offer and show willing to do something in return. I would suggest both friend and your mum wear masks and maintain distance as much as possible. I know you are worried about the risks, but there is also a risk attached to your not receiving the vaccination. Sometimes we must balance one risk against another. At least it is in line with your surgery’s advice.

You don’t have to care 24/7. Ask Social Services to arrange support for mum so you can get out more.