Despite these grim conditions, Caremark care and support workers are doing sterling work, providing care to their vulnerable clients throughout flooded areas of the country and are not letting the inclement weather get the better of them.
Tales of courage, determination and fortitude are coming in from the various Caremark franchised offices throughout soggy Britain, with some care workers having to sit in hour long traffic jams as vehicles struggle to negotiate mini rivers which were once roads. Those with more robust vehicles capable of dealing with flooded roads and lanes are helping their colleagues and taking them around on their calls, ensuring all clients get the necessary care.
Suki Dhillon, Care Manager with Caremark (Slough & South Bucks) commented, "We have had some really difficult days of late. Some of our clients live in Datchet and Wraysbury which for the main part are seriously affected by the floods. I had to evacuate two of our clients recently and get them to safety with the assistance of the fire brigade. Meanwhile, our care workers have been and continue to be absolutely fantastic, working under very difficult conditions. Some of them are having to travel across two big motorways and drive miles out of their way just to find an accessible route to their clients. Many people don't realise what it is like to be out there doing this job; our wonderful staff continue to deliver a first class service to their vulnerable clients at all hours of the day and night through all this horrific weather. It's not a picnic out there."
Other offices in the Caremark network have also been working under difficult conditions. Caremark (Pulborough) sits close to the tidal River Arun which has reduced large swathes of the land to something resembling 'water world'. This particular office covers a largely rural area, with many small country lanes linking towns, villages and hamlets, making the regular delivery of Caremark's care service very challenging with so much of the area under water.
Nevertheless, their care workers have risen to this almighty challenge and battled on regardless, often with disregard for their own comfort. Power cuts have made their job even more difficult as gale force winds have knocked out power lines leaving homes in darkness and with little warmth, until help arrives.
One care worker in particular with Caremark (Pulborough) has soldiered on unbeaten by the obstacles. Margaret Jasinska has shown true determination and dedication to the care of her clients. Many of the regular routes Margaret normally travels were becoming impassable with the sudden, violent squalls that followed each other in that part of West Sussex.
Driving around a bend and facing a mass of water is quite disconcerting. Not to be put off, Margaret travelled back and forth in her effort to find a way through to her clients, making sure every client received a visit. Such commitment is to be applauded. Some would be tempted to throw in the towel long before this point and not continue.
"I think Margaret has done an amazing job with the flooding. She has gone out of her way to get to clients when roads have been closed. On a couple of days she was unable to get back to her house due to the flooding so she stayed at a friend's house to make sure that the was able to get to all her calls the next day," commented Bethany Shepheard, Care Co-ordinator, Caremark (Pulborough).
Caremark businesses produce their own tailored Business Continuity Plans which roll into force as soon as any interruption to the service threatens, whether that is through snow, flooding, extreme heat or epidemics. This ensures that the most vulnerable continue to receive the care and support needed to maintain their safety and comfort.Being prepared for every eventuality is vital when the kind of weather conditions we are experiencing of late visits our shores and with the weather set to continue stormy for a while yet, we can only applaud the grit and dedication of the care teams, as they battle on through the floods and gales.