Fitness expert Karl Henry 'in studio'
Wow, the first episode of Operation Transformation - Keeping Well Apart had a significantly different feel as all the communication with the families was through Zoom. All of the experts except me were in the Mansion House in Dublin.
I am in Portarlington as my wife Carol had cancer treatment two years ago and is in the immunosuppressed group, which makes her vulnerable.
Up to the Covid-19 pandemic, while we openly discussed Carol’s situation with family and friends, she preferred to keep it private regarding my work in the media. However Carol was happy to discuss it openly now in the context of Covid-19. Indeed, this pandemic has changed many things. At another time I will put this cancer journey into words - needless to say it was incredibly difficult for our family.
Back to Operation Transformation - Keeping Well Apart where the team are focusing on different families’ challenges and how, through them, we can be guided in managing social isolation and our physical and mental wellbeing.
The Gavins - Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Together
What a motivated family. The fitness programme isn’t enough and all the girls want to do a half marathon. There’s lots of good fresh air in Mayo. The challenges of having family members and loved ones overseas could be seen in this group, as mother Mary and her husband are separated by thousands of miles. Daughter Ailish is doing contact tracing and some of this work is very challenging. Healthy eating, movement and good mental health activities will support them all.
The Ryan / Mongey – Dublin. Leaving Cert heartache
Lucy found out that her Leaving Cert was deferred. It’s such a challenging time for teenagers. I asked Lucy to take time out to chill out for at least two weeks, and then she can re-fire up and pace herself to peak at the right time. She is a remarkable young woman who uses meditation to support her own mental health. The family are anxious regarding shopping, which is all very understandable. With young children, the family are doing very well and the parental challenge of being teacher, mother, entertainer etc is taking its toll. All of us now need to focus on self-care.
Ann Brophy – Dublin. Alone
Ann is an amazing character and is cocooning. The OT team have set up a camera on a crane to film Ann at times. She loves company and people and coffee with friends. Ann is concerned with what will happen when OT finishes. I assured her that we would leave her in a better place than when things first started. Ann has engaged in ‘community call’ I will tell you about this below, as it's important for all cocooners.
The Ryans, Cappamore, Co Limerick. Under Pressure
Sarah (33) Dave (32) with Cooper (4) and Charlie (3), are definitely the busiest family and most under pressure due to dependency of their children. They are good parents under strain. My key message is that parenting needs to be good enough, not perfect. This takes the pressure off.
Each local authority (council) has established a Community Response Forum to coordinate COVID-19 related community supports. As part of this, each local authority has established a helpline that vulnerable people can phone if they are looking for basic services such as delivery of food or meals, or transport for essential trips.Your Covid-19 Community Call Forum is working hard seven days a week to answer your calls and provide help to those who need it and those looking for guidance. Details for your county www.gov.ie
ALONE, National Helpline: 0818 222 024
Alone, the national charity for older people, is partnering each Covid-19 Community Response Forum. If you need to talk or are looking for emotional support, you can call them on 0818 222 024 or your call can be directed from your local Covid-19 Community Response Forum helpline.
You can also contact Alone if you are experiencing difficulties with physical and mental health, finance, housing, loneliness and other challenges.